Advice involving potential financial abuse under a power of attorney

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by flymoromp, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. flymoromp

    flymoromp New member

    Dec 9, 2019
    8
    My father died recently after suffering for some years with dementia. My sister had an EPA which was registered with the Office of Public Guardian in July 2017 although the EPA has been in place since April 2007. I believe that the EPA was only registered to enable my Dad's house to be sold. I discovered after his death that my 2 siblings over the last 5 years have:

    1. Granted loans totalling over £50k to each other
    2. Granted gifts to family members over and above customary gifts. These total £12k.
    3. Allowed my brother to live in Dad's house rent-free, with full board and vehicle running costs for over 4 years.
    4. Paid my brother over £35k apparently to care for Dad whilst he was living at home prior to him entering full time residential care. The £35k "wages" also includes payments for refurbishing Dad's house prior to sale.
    5. Used Dad's bank account and credit card for the siblings personal expenditure (petrol, holidays, food and entertainment). This totals £10k.
    6. Removed Dad's personal possessions etc for their own use
    7. Used part of the house sale proceeds for themselves.

    My sister has had third party mandate with the bank since around 2007.

    I only discovered these issues when I asked for a copy of the probate application and IHT 205 form from the solicitor as I was entitled to this information being one of the executors appointed in my Dad's Will. Although I was in contact with my sister I was not told about any of the financial dealings and when I visited Dad my sister was very guarded about any dealings and would not allow me to be alone with Dad to discuss any issues.

    Both my brother and sister have admitted that they had financial problems from time to time.

    The administration of Dad's estate is now in the hands of his solicitor and I am seeking an adjustment to the estate distribution to ensure that all the unauthorised financial transactions are reflected in the legacies to us three as residual beneficiaries. Not including the amounts above, Dad's estate is about £400k.

    Any advice or guidance would be much appreciated
     
  2. nellbelles

    nellbelles Volunteer Host

    Nov 6, 2008
    8,526
    leicester
  3. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,198
    Toronto, Canada
    I cannot offer any advice but I think having the administration of the estate in the hands of the solicitor is very wise. I think seeking an adjustment to reflect the amounts your siblings have helped themselves to is only fair. I hope that you get it, I think you should.
     
  4. flymoromp

    flymoromp New member

    Dec 9, 2019
    8
    Thanks Joanne. It's a lonely time so your moral support is appreciated
     
  5. flymoromp

    flymoromp New member

    Dec 9, 2019
    8
     
  6. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    2,001
    Female
    I agree with Joanne, I hope you get an adjustment in the Will to reflect the fact they have already taken part of their inheritance. It's terrible that they just helped themselves.
     
  7. flymoromp

    flymoromp New member

    Dec 9, 2019
    8
    Thanks for your support Sirena. It restores my faith in human nature. I was beginning to think I was going mad particularly when it's the family you thought you could trust. How naïve of me...
     
  8. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    2,001
    Female
    Your situation is fairly extreme (a lot of money involved over several years) but unfortunately it doesn't surprise me, other members have talked about similar situations and it happened in my family too. I think people perform all sorts of mental gymnastics to justify why they 'deserve' it but actually it's just theft. I wish you all the best in putting this right.
     
  9. flymoromp

    flymoromp New member

    Dec 9, 2019
    8
    Thanks once again Sirena. I'm sorry you've been through this. I do hope you managed to resolve it. You're spot on. I keep hearing from my siblings saying things like "its what Dad would have wanted" or "you don't understand" - unfortunately for them I do understand - it's either fraud or at the very least, financial abuse.
     
  10. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,546
    Male
    North Manchester
    Whilst agreeing with what has been said beware the 'over several years' part.

    Prior to July 2017 when the EPA was registered meaning that your sister considered your Dad had 'lost or was loosing capacity' she could have acted under the EPA (assuming a clause preventing use whilst capacity was maintained was not added) or the third party mandate and claim it was with Dad's agreement.
     
  11. witts1973

    witts1973 Registered User

    Jun 20, 2018
    738
    Male
    Leamington Spa
    I hope everything works out,but I can't help but feel a solicitor could see this as an avenue to make a lot more revenue for themselves,and it could drag on for a long time at great expense
     
  12. flymoromp

    flymoromp New member

    Dec 9, 2019
    8
    Thanks Witts. I am conscious of the potential costs but the administration of the estate couldn't be left with the unsupervised sister. I feel that the solicitor is getting to grips with the case.
     
  13. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    2,001
    Female
    I agree Nitram - that's all part of the mental gymnastics used to justify it, and it may not be easy to remedy.
    In my own case, it was only when my mother got dementia and I took over her finances via LPA, that I realised she had been siphoning money from her (since deceased) parents' accounts. I knew she'd had a third party mandate, but I didn't know she had used it for her own benefit. Presumably she told herself the money would be hers anyway when they died - but she was not the only person in their Will.
     
  14. Jale

    Jale Registered User

    Jul 9, 2018
    359
    Female
    OMG flymoromp - I find that so sad. I hope that you manage to sort things out
     
  15. flymoromp

    flymoromp New member

    Dec 9, 2019
    8
    Thanks Jale. I'm determined to get a resolution. It's not just the money although that might compensate. It's really the principle and the fact that siblings that I thought I could trust have betrayed me and my Dad's memory and destroyed a family in the process. What do they say about the root of all evil....?
     
  16. sausagedog

    sausagedog Registered User

    Aug 22, 2019
    65
    May I ask what has the Solicitor(s) handling your fathers estate advised with regard to these large sums of money taken/used? Are they confident they can get an adjustment in the figures etc. I hope that you get the outcome you want - let us know how you get on ...regardless of costs, think you’re absolutely right to question these missing thousands of pounds. Don’t mention some family members to me.....I could write a book (!)
     
  17. flymoromp

    flymoromp New member

    Dec 9, 2019
    8
    Hi Sausagedog. Solicitor has been non-committal until the siblings have been fully appraised of what I have discovered from copies of the bank statements. She has confirmed that the "loans and gifts" will be adjusted but as for the rest we will have to negotiate. Thank goodness that all the estate funds are now controlled by the solicitor. Her challenge is to divide the estate - maybe actually earn her fees! The leverage I have is that sister has given false declaration on the IHT 205 which is, I believe, a criminal offence. Also there is clearly fraud/theft/abuse involved. I have not threatened action at this stage preferring to give the siblings an opportunity to put it right. Whilst solicitor is acting on behalf of the estate my sister (executor) is in fact "her client". She is though very supportive to me. Let me know when you have written your book...Cheers
     
  18. witts1973

    witts1973 Registered User

    Jun 20, 2018
    738
    Male
    Leamington Spa
    That's good about the loans and gifts being taking in to consideration as that seemed to be the bulk of the missing money,I hope everything works out for you.
    All the best with things in the future
     
  19. sausagedog

    sausagedog Registered User

    Aug 22, 2019
    65
    It is positive that the Solicitor is supportive to and as you are a beneficiary you’ve taken absolutely the right action.....it’ll be interesting to see how it all transpires and I hope there won’t be a need for you to take further legal action ......it’s quite unbelievable isn’t it what can happen amongst families ...let us know how it goes and all the best to you
     

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