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Case law: Court clarifies when attorney under Lasting Power of Attorney could face criminal prosecution

Attorneys appointed to manage a person’s finances and property under a Lasting Power of Attorney must ensure they only use such of the donor’s funds as are reasonably required for their needs, or risk criminal prosecution.

Legal Alert

This update was published in Legal Alert - January 2016

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An attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney had made withdrawals of funds from the donor’s bank account, which were unreasonably high given the donor’s needs - resulting in a general deficiency of funds. The Crown Court decided not to prosecute because no evidence had been put forward of specific fraudulent transactions.

The Office of the Public Guardian appealed to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), which ruled that evidence of specific transactions was not required. It was enough that there was evidence showing that the attorney could not have been acting honestly.

Operative date

  • Now

Recommendations

  • Attorneys appointed to manage a person’s finances and property under a Lasting Power of Attorney must ensure they only use such of the donor’s funds as are reasonably required for their needs, or risk criminal prosecution

Case ref: R v TJC [2015] EWCA Crim 1276

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