201511.30

Managing an Elderly Relative’s Affairs? Legal Knowledge is Essential!

Managing the affairs of elderly relatives who cannot make their own decisions needs skill and some understanding of the law. In one case, a daughter who lacked both those characteristics was placed under professional supervision by the Court of Protection.

Although she had acted in good faith, the daughter was inflexibly adamant that she alone knew what was best for her dementia sufferer mother and would brook no opposition. Amongst other things, she had spent about £250 a month of her mother’s limited funds on buying her biscuits, cakes and other treats. The pensioner had no appetite for such goodies and often used them as ammunition to pelt staff at the nursing home where she was resident and where she received a nutritious and well balanced diet.

The daughter had complete control over her mother’s finances under an enduring power of attorney (EPA). However, the Court found that she had no understanding of her legal duties and no intention or desire to learn about them. Despite her good intentions, she had thus failed to act in her mother’s best interests. In those circumstances, the EPA was revoked. Although the daughter would continue to act as her mother’s deputy, she would do so under close supervision by a professional with expertise in the field.

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