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MarianC
MarianC, Solicitor
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Can a solicitor with a Power of Attorney for an elderly

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Can a solicitor with a Power of Attorney for an elderly person with dementia prevent a social visit from a friend to that elderly person?
JA: What steps have been taken? Have any papers been filed in family court?
Customer: All I know is that this elderly person gave a solicitor POA for her financial matters. Now, the solicitor is saying that any social visits must be arranged through her.
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county does she live in?
Customer: I don't think any Court has been involved.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No.

Good afternoon, thank you very much for your question. There is no authority for a person with Power of Attorney for financial matters, to take control of other aspects of the person's life, such as their social visits. If the solicitor has Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare then that would be different and they would be able to supervise personal visits. I wonder why a busy solicitor would want to be involved on this level.

Do you have any other information?

Kind regards

Marian

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hello Marian & thanks for your prompt reply.
I suspect but don't know for sure that this elderly person has given this solicitor (who she didn't know) Lasting Power of Attorney. I say this because over the last 12 months this elderly person's dementia has got worse & I think it was her bank who suggested she handed over her financial matters to a solicitor. Unfortunately & because of her dementia, this elderly person can't remember anything but is most upset that with no family, the only 3 friends she has in the world (one of them being me) can't visit her without making an appointment through this solicitor. We 3 friends have been taking care of her health & welfare. Social Services &/or Age Concern were a dead loss.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Don't think we need to speak over the phone "just yet". The only other thing which might be of relevance is that this solicitor reckons & I quote from her E-mail that "there has been concerning activity on this woman's bank account". What she means by that, I've no idea but we 3 TRUSTED friends feel as though she is using us as scapegoats & we don't like it or know what to do for the best.

Hello, the system generates the phone call so don't worry.

On the basis that no one now has any access to anyone's bank accounts other than the solicitor I fail to see the reasoning behind this. The solicitor has surely removed all cards and cheques books and alerted the bank? So if you ask her to confirm that the accounts are now secure what then is the reason for supervising visits?

Or, perhaps 'numerous and constant annoying requests' for visits, especially in the lead upt to Christmas, may make her see that her input is unnecessary?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thanks again Marian.
This solicitor has removed all cheque books & credit/debit cards & leaves her with no cash (not even enough for a pint of milk).
So let me get this clear in my head. Are you saying that a solicitor with a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare includes financial matters as well or are they two different Powers of Attorney?
This poor woman doesn't remember what she has signed up to. All I know is that she misses the "unscheduled" social visits & is beginning to think that this solicitor is determined to control the rest of her life & get her in to a residential home. I personally think it's despicable.

Hi, this is a difficult situation, is the lady is in care or at home? Are there carers or people doing her shopping?

I mean there are two distinct and separate forms of Lasting Power of Attorney.

1. LPA for property and finance - for house, bills, banks, investments.

2. LPA for Health and Welfare - entirely separate, this is her care, her GP, her social life, her end of life wishes. Everything personal that does not relate to property or finance.

You can always advise the lady in question that you will have no option but to let the Office of the Public Guardian know that she is somewhat overstepping the mark and that you are asking for their advice.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thanks for the clarification.It would be interesting to know if this solicitor has both these LPA's.
In her E-mail, the solicitor in question says that "this is a very delicate & sensitive situation & thanks us in advance for our understanding". She doesn't elaborate & the fact of the matter is that we don't understand.
The lady is not in a care/residential home. She is living at home with her 98 year old husband who is fitting fit but very dependent on his wife. Together, they have lived in the same very spacious bungalow for 40 years & until one or the other dies, want to remain living there. In the last 9 months, they have not been out on their own & don't miss doing so in this current climate. Neither of them have contracted Covid-19.
Their experience of Age Concern & Social Services carers has been disastrous & they are no longer employed. Kim has been visiting them 3 times a week but has to travel 40 minutes. Not only is she a dear friend but she does she do their shopping but she cooks & does household chores for them. They couldn't survive without her but she was "interrogated" like a criminal last week by this solicitor & she phoned me in tears.
I am only 5 minutes away & have been to their rescue when the lights have tripped or one or the other has fallen over in the garden & needed an ambulance. There have been many times when I have phoned & the line is permanently occupied & that worries me. That's because the phone has been accidentally knocked off its stand but this couple wouldn't be wise to that. No solicitor (& nothing personal) or is going to give them the friendship & home comforts we give them. In fact, I'll be very surprised if this solicitor has any experience whatsoever of Health & Welfare for the elderly but it looks as though my hands are tied to challenge her &/or change things around.
Do you have any further thoughts or suggestions please?

Good morning, have you explained all of this already to the solicitor so that she can see exacty what she is depriving them of? If you have and there is no relaxing of her attitude i suggest that you firstly make a complaint with the firm who will have a dedicated complaints' person.

Failing this you should then contact the SRA which is the Solicitors Regulatory Authority who will be able to take this up on your behalf as a complaint. Their website is https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/public/for-public-visitors/using-a-solicitor/complain-about-a-solicitor

The SRA will expect that you have first exhausted the internal complaints procedure with the firm.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Good morning Marian.
Yes I have but it appears I have been talking on deaf ears!
I don't really want to get involved & end up rocking the boat &/or making a rod for my own back.
Meantime, I am going to apply to the Office of the Public Guardian for details of the LPA or LPAs currently in place. If this solicitor only has an LPA for property & financial affairs & not a separate one for LPA health & welfare, I'll reconsider my next course of action.

Ok, there is a form that you can complete which asks if there are registered LPA's in place. It is an OPG100 and you can download it from their website.

MarianC and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
I know thanks. Will do this later & will let you know what I learn. Meantime, many thanks for your help so far.
Enjoy what's left of the weekend. I'm off to play golf now.
Best regards.
David Rowan.

Thank you, ***** *****

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
I have now heard back from the OPG & they have advised me that the solicitor in question has been issued (in December last year) with LPAs relating to both property & financial affairs AND health & welfare.
I have of course continued to speak with my elderly friend by phone but she doesn't understand why I can't visit her without permission from the solicitor. Furthermore, she doesn't remember agreeing to an LPA for health & welfare reasons & I suspect that her GP had something to do with this.
For my own sanity & in my own interests, I don't really want to "rock the boat" & complain to the solicitor's office &/or the OPG & fear I may have to keep a low profile & accept things as they are. Such is life.

Oh dear what a shame. Have you told the solicitor the upset this is causing all round?

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
No I haven't. I gave her the opportunity to talk to me face to face on 13/10 when both of us were visiting the elderly lady but she declined. It was later that same day when she sent me an E-mail to ban me from further visits without her agreement. The lady's 2 other friends are nervous of saying anything or getting involved in case they are banned also. As upsetting as it is to all concerned, I have to think of my own sanity, interests & family & get on with my own life without worrying about others & that's not easy.

Ok, but it may be worth contacting the senior partner at the firm for assistance.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
She is the senior partner in this firm of solicitors! I've done my research & this firm of solicitors (3 of them in total) only started up in business 11 months ago.This senior partner (director as she calls herself) has only practicing law for 10 years & in my opinion is trying to make a name for herself in a small town where about 60% of the population is over 70 years old. I've no idea what if anything she specializes in but I will be making it known amongst my many friends & customers here what I think of her. Let's be realistic, there's no "amicable" resolve to this issue.

Oh I see, whereabouts are you?

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Sorry, I'd rather not say unless you tell me why you need to know.
My trial period With JustAnswer expires tomorrow & I've decided not to pursue this issue with ANY solicitor at ANY cost.

Because usually that is the first question you are asked, matters vary between England and Wales, Scotland and Eire. I noted that you haven't been asked your location, that is all.

Good night

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Good night Marian & thanks for your help.
Regrets & regards.
David Rowan.