I have talked before about how I think Senior Judge Lush has probably the best case load in English justice, and this is another one that doesn’t disappoint.
It is probably the most blatant bit of financial abuse I’ve come across, and I hope that those involved will get what is coming to them.
Re OL 2015
OL is 77 and has clearly worked hard all of her life and built up savings. She had a stroke and signed a Lasting Power of Attorney to allow her son YS and her daughter DA to manage her financial affairs on her behalf. There was a third son, who as far as I can see is blameless. Neither DA nor YS were young people, and they had proper jobs – they were not young and impulsive, nor should they have been in financial dire straits.
Despite this, they took the money that they were managing on their mother’s behalf and spent it on themselves.
Let’s put it really starkly
In the six months that DA and YS were ‘looking after’ their mother’s finances, she went from having £730,000 to £7,000.
DA and YS on the other hand, had paid off their mortgage, had a loft conversion, bought a new house (entirely with their mother’s money) in which their mother (who paid all of the money) had a 20% stake and DA (who paid not a penny) had a 40% stake and YS (who also paid not a penny) had a 40% stake.
£730,000 to £7,000 in six months, equates to OL’s financial resources dwindling at a rate of £2,800 per day. OR that at the rate of spending, she had about another three days money left.
Or to put it yet another way (going back to Mostyn J * and the Pizza Express case https://suesspiciousminds.com/2015/06/18/taking-forty-thousand-pounds-in-cash-to-pizza-express/) if OL had instead of appointing deputies, had gone into Pizza Express and bought meals for fifty people a day, for every day over the last six months, she’d probably be slightly better off now. Or she could have met with the wife in that case and handed over that forty grand in cash EIGHTEEN TIMES and still been better off)
*second best case-load. And to misquote Bill Hicks “you know, after those first two best caseloads, there’s a real big f***ing drop-off”
Senior Judge Lush spells out all of the guidance and law on being a person’s deputy under the Lasting Power of Attorney. If you want to see it, you can find it all in the judgment. A key bit is here
“A fiduciary duty means attorneys must not take advantage of their position. Nor should they put themselves in a position where their personal interests conflict with their duties. They must also not allow any other influences to affect the way in which they act as an attorney. Decisions should always benefit the donor, and not the attorney. Attorneys must not profit or get any personal benefit from their position, apart from receiving gifts where the Act allows it, whether or not it is at the donor’s expense.”
I think I can condense all of the guidance and law into this simple sentence of my own, however (apologies for Anglo-Saxon language)
“If you are appointed as a deputy to manage someone’s financial affairs, it is NOT YOUR FUCKING MONEY”