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Court of Protection strips sons of Power of Attorney

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Court of Protection strips sons of Power of Attorney

A series of disputes between two men previously appointed to oversee their elderly mother’s finances mean that they are no longer capable of acting as deputies, a Judge has ruled.

The mum-of-four, who lives in Cornwall, had granted Lasting Power of Attorney to the oldest and youngest of her sons and a solicitor.

The retired teacher had given explicit instructions that she did not want to enter a nursing home and that any decision to sell her two properties could only be made if at least two of her attorneys agreed.

However, a little over 12 months later, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) made the decision to step in amid concerns that resentment between the two sons posed significant difficulties.

By this stage, the men’s mother had been diagnosed with vascular dementia and it was concluded that she lacked the capacity to continue to manage her own affairs.

The OPG argued that in light of the “longstanding difficulties” between her sons, the Lasting Power of Attorney that had previously been made should be revoked and the woman’s daughter should be appointed as an attorney instead – even though she now lives in Australia.

Both men had objected to this application.

Judge Denzil Lush, sitting in the Court of Protection, agreed that the arguments between the men meant that they were no longer capable of acting in their mother’s best interests.

“This LPA is not functioning satisfactorily because the animosity between the two remaining attorneys…has created an impasse, which is having an adverse effect on the management of [the woman’s] property and financial affairs,” he said.

For the moment, the woman’s daughter has been appointed as a temporary attorney, although the Judge said that further assessments should be carried out to determine if the mother was capable of revoking the Lasting Power of Attorney herself.