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Solicitors have a key role to play in what should be a multi-agency approach to the prevention of financial abuse, says Alison Huggins

6 November 2012

The Court of Protection’s decision in Re Harcourt in July of this year brought into the spotlight the issue of financial abuse and, in particular, the powers of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and the Court of Protection to investigate an attorney’s actions in light of such concerns. However, this is a small part of a much wider problem.

Abuse of authority

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) sets out the functions of the Public Guardian. These include dealing with complaints about the way in which an attorney is exercising their powers and directing a Court of Protection visitor to the donor or attorney.

Where there are circumstances suggesting an attorney may have behaved, or is proposing to behave, in a way that would contravene his/her authority, or would not be in the best interests of the donor, the OPG may require the attorney to ...

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