Recent LPA fraud:
Posted on 9th February 2022
Our Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitors discuss LPA fraud and how to avoid it.
A recent report from the BBC highlighted a worrying case of fraud relating to a Lasting Power of Attorney.
A young woman, who was not currently living in her house due to caring for her sick mother, was the victim of attempted conveyancing fraud due to a forged lasting power of attorney. The fraudsters had used fake names and forged signatures to create a property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney for the woman, and had used this document to attempt to sell the woman’s house without her knowledge.
Only when the conveyancing solicitors involved requested a GP letter to confirm the situation that the fraudsters pulled out of the transaction, and the victim was informed and reported the fraud to both the police and the Office of the Public Guardian.
Here at MG Legal, our lasting power of attorney solicitors know that stories like this can understandably make our clients worry about how LPAs can be abused and used fraudulently when they get into the wrong hands. While LPA fraud is rare, it is still not something that can be ignored, and our LPA solicitors ensure we take all possible steps to ensure the safety of our clients, and to keep all legal matters and documents confidential.
When you choose to work with MG Legal for your lasting power of attorney, or any other legal matter, your designated solicitor with always be on hand to meet with you in our offices, in the comfort of your own home, or speak over the 'phone to answer any questions or concerns that you might have, and allow you to rest assured that your matter is being handled in the best way possible.
How to avoid LPA fraud:
While LPA fraud is rare, it does happen. It is because of cases such as those mentioned above that our LPA solicitors have such strict measures in place regarding checking the identity of clients, and taking all possible measures to avoid LPA fraud, and protect all of our clients’ safety, at all times.
To help our clients with this, and make sure that they always feel comfortable throughout the process, our specialist LPA solicitors ensure regular communication with our clients about what we need from them, what we will be asking from them, and when we will be asking for it.
One thing that our LPA solicitors know all too well is the risk of fraud and sensitive information getting into the wrong hands when people attempt to make Lasting Powers of Attorney online. There have also been suggestions of moving the lasting power of attorney applications online, as the Office of the Public Guardian also want to eliminate the need for these independent witnesses to sign the documents. However, this would raise concerns for our lasting power of attorney solicitors surrounding the possibility of fraud and abuse of power when making these applications.
As it stands, the presence of an independent witness, a role that our solicitors often fulfill for our clients, ensures that the person intends to make the application, and eradicate the risk of identity theft or fraud. If the lasting power of attorney application becomes digital, this safeguarding may be sacrificed in hopes of simplifying the process.
If you are looking to make a lasting power of attorney safely, and you feel concerned about the risk of fraudsters or your information getting into the wrong hands, then MG Legal’s LPA solicitors are here to guide you through the process safely, and with expert legal advice.
Our friendly team work with care and patience with all of our clients, and offer our Power of Attorney services at a clear, fixed-fee rate, which is clearly outlined here on our fees page. Many of our clients are surprised how affordable it really is to make a Power of Attorney with our solicitors, and the creation of this important document in the long run can be priceless. Simply contact us online here, or give us a call on 01772 783 314 to speak to an LPA solicitor within one working hour about how we can help you today.
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