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Press comment: OPG safeguards aim to prevent power of attorney abuse


If you are covering the Office of the Public Guardian’s safeguarding strategy, please see the following commentary from Quilter tax and financial planning expert, Rachael Griffin:

Rachael Griffin“The OPG has a big responsibility for managing and administering applications for Enduring Power of Attorney and Lasting Power of Attorney. These are becoming increasingly critical tools for managing financial affairs into later life, allowing individuals to grant control of certain affairs to a trusted family member or friend if they become mentally incapacitated, typically through age-related mental illness. Their popularity has skyrocketed, more than trebling over five years from 2010, as more and more people look for the security of having a trusted decision maker in place if they ever need it.

“However, they do come with risk and can be subject to abuse. There have been cases where vulnerable individuals have been targeted by scammers seeking to fraudulently take control of their assets. By falsely obtaining power of attorney, unscrupulous individuals have attempted to manufacture the appearance of genuinely looking out for the best interests of an elderly or vulnerable individual, when in fact they have other motives.

“These cases are few and far between, but can cause huge distress and loss. The OPG is trying to signal its plans for providing appropriate safeguards against abuse. In particular, they are seeking to educate police and adult social case services in order to alert them in the event that they spot signs of abuse.  

“For anyone considering appointing a Power of Attorney, the important thing to remember is that this is a decision to be taken with great care and as a precautionary measure. By taking advance steps ahead of any possible mental incapacity, individuals can have reassurance that a trusted Attorney is in place and negates the risk they could be targeted by someone they don’t know seeking to take advantage of them.”

For more information contact

Michael Glenister020 7778 963807469

Notes to Editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £95.3 billion in customer investments (as at 31 March 2020).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions; and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Advice and Wealth Management and Wealth Platforms.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial advice business, Quilter Financial Planning; the discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

Wealth Platforms includes Old Mutual Wealth UK platform and Quilter International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore.

The Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business was acquired by ReAssure Group Plc on 2 January 2020.

Since its IPO in June 2018, Quilter plc’s businesses have progressively rebranded to Quilter, as follows: 

  • Quilter Financial Planning (previously Intrinsic)
  • Quilter Private Client Advisers (previously Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers)
  • Quilter Financial Advisers (previously Charles Derby Group)
  • Quilter Financial Adviser School
  • Quilter Cheviot
  • Quilter Investors
  • Old Mutual Wealth (becoming Quilter Investment Platform in 2020)
  • Quilter International (previously Old Mutual International)

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