Powers of Attorney – better safe than sorry…
8 May 2017 by Anastasia Packman
I don’t think that there is anybody that doesn’t get fed up with seemingly endless telephone calls from people trying to sell you all sorts of things you don’t need from solar energy to PPI. It seems that “legal services” should be added to this list.
Sometime ago I had a letter from a long standing client for whom I first worked for over 20 years ago. The work included preparing an enduring power of attorney which was the best available solution for my client at that time. For those who don’t know, powers of attorney are often signed as safeguards against a person being unable to deal with their own finances in the future (now they are also available for health and welfare situations).
My client had been called by a company who told him in apparent sincerity that his enduring power of attorney would no longer be effective. They said that banks could refuse to accept them as they no longer had staff who were able to deal with them. Their solution – surprise surprise – was for my client to spend a large sum of money with them, replacing the enduring power of attorney with its current equivalent a lasting power of attorney.
In my client’s circumstances, this would have been a complete waste of money – banks are well able to handle enduring powers of attorney and they remain legally valid. Fortunately, my client was suspicious and contacted me although some people would have taken the company at face value and wasted their money.
There are some circumstances in which a new power of attorney should be signed e.g if the attorneys have died or could no longer cope with the responsibility but as every situation is different it is best to check with a solicitor (who professionally cannot cold call people).
I would like to finish by thanking my client for giving his permission for me to write this blog as he did not wish anyone to fall for this type of cold call.