A KEIGHLEY solicitor has defended lasting powers of attorney following comments from a former senior judge that they were open to financial abuse.

A so-called LPA allows a person to appoint someone to make important decisions about care and finances on their behalf, should they lose their mental capacity.

In a foreword to a new book, Denzil Lush – formerly of the Court of Protection – raises concerns about a "lack of transparency" in how appointed attorneys manage older people's finances.

But Myron Handzij, from Waddington Turner Wall Solicitors in Devonshire Street, said the comments needed to be put into context.

"His 20-year career at the Court of Protection will have presented him with the very worst cases of financial abuse," said Mr Handzij, a member of national organisation Solicitors for the Elderly.

"An LPA can be a positive and effective legal tool, which ensures your wishes are respected should you ever lose capacity.

"Senior Judge Lush's comments should highlight the clear need for professional advice when considering powerful legal documents of this nature."

Tips from Solicitors for the Elderly include to plan early, choosing – while you have capacity – the best people to manage your affairs and ensuring they understand their responsibilities and your wishes.

For more details, visit sfe.legal.