Power of Attorney – The Importance of Getting it Right

A Power of Attorney is a useful method protection if you become unable to deal with financial matters yourself. However, nominating a loved one to take on this responsibility may not always be the best option, it may be wiser to use a good lawyer instead as the following case demonstrates.

A woman with dementia had delegated her financial control to her son as she could no longer cope. He then decided to sell her home, and the money generated from the sale was not paid into her account but his own. Years passed by with the lady residing in a care home where she ultimately passed away. At that time there was nothing of the £230,000 from the property sale left, it had all been spent. Her Will, which left everything to be shared equally by her two sons, was useless as there was nothing left to be divided up and split between the siblings.

The son with the Power of Attorney was charged and found guilty of theft by admission. He was sent to prison for three and a half years. At his subsequent appeal he argued that he had his mother’s permission which he had gained when she was lucid. The Court of Appeal upheld the sentence however as they believed it to be appropriate and his claims to be dishonest.

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