Re SB 2015 http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCOP/2015/7.html is another case heard by Senior Judge Lush, involving a person who signed a Lasting Power of Attorney, giving her sons the ability to manage her financial affairs on her behalf when she lost capacity.
It is a GOOD thing to have a Lasting Power of Attorney, particularly if you know that you are suffering from an illness which is going to rob you of the capacity to make decisions for yourself. Much better that those decisions be made by someone you love and trust, rather than by strangers or a Court.
It therefore annoys me massively when the people given that trust misuse it like this man.
b) BB had used £19,038.69 of his mother’s money to pay his farm suppliers.
(c) BB had invested a further £24,000 of his mother’s funds in a biomass boiler at his farm.
(d) although SB owns two investment properties, the rental income from them had not found its way into her accounts.
On 7 October 2014 BB filed an acknowledgment of service in which he stated that he objected to the application. He said:
“I truly believe that we still have the best interest of our Mum at heart both her welfare & finances.”
The Lasting Power of Attorney gave the son the right to manage his mother’s affair FOR HER, and for her benefit. It was not a right to spend what he was assuming was his inheritance whilst she was still alive. If she had wanted to give him this money whilst she had capacity, that would be fine, but she had not made that decision. This is dipping into (well, more plunging than dipping) his mother’s money for his own benefit.
For those who criticise the existence of the Court of Protection (and there are flaws with it, it isn’t perfect), what is your alternative for this? Let the son rob his mother blind?
The cases about sterilisation and C-sections and deprivation of liberty are the ones that get the headlines, but these financial exploitation cases are the real bread and butter of Court of Protection work. It is desperately sad that when money comes into the picture, some people are prepared to abuse the trust placed in them and use their parents money as if it were their own.