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Brother in law stealing money from father

AndyTai

New member
May 4, 2022
1
0
Sussex
Dear All, I have been reading your posts about similar problems and I feel so sad for the world but so heartened that I now have some good ideas. My mother in law died of dementia just a few months ago. Her husband looked after tirelessly for years and years and they lived in complete isolation aside from mine and my wife's regular visits. My wife's father is in the early stages and often can cope just fine and sometimes, when overwhelmed, cannot cope at all. Like many of you here, I have taken it on to manage his finances. He is soon to be moving from his family home, where he is struggling with its size and complete isolation, to a retirement community. I am so excited he has decided to take this option and I hope will have an amazing, stimulating and shared experience of retirement. He needs it! I can't wait for him to have good friends and take a daily walk. Small but powerful things.

We have known for some time that my brother in law will do anything he can to get access to his father's money. His wife is kept completely out of the loop and does not know that he steals from his father. In fact, the BIL was completely opposed to his father moving to a retirement community as he wanted him to live as close to him as possible. It seems it was to have 24 hour access to his money. Today, I reached the tip of the iceberg. At his mother's funeral arrangement, the BIL paid £1700 to the funeral director as he was the only one with a card on him. I discovered today that he has had that amount repaid by his father 3 times. Three times. We know that he draws out cash and that he has received around £20,000 in the past year. He has a good job and so does his wife - together they have around £120,000 a year coming in. Yet here we are.

My wife and he have joint POA. Is there anything that can be done to stop her brother from continually abusing his father's money. Money that he will need for care? I am thinking about practical ideas like scratching out the three digit card code as mentioned on another post. And also removing her brother as a trusted payee. My FILs house will soon sell and we are working with a solicitor and a financial advisor to tie that money away in a guarded account. I think my wife should tell the solicitor that she has an acrimonious relationship with her brother and that they will be paid to act as an arbitration service in the event of disagreement. Does this sound like a good plan? What do you guys think we need to do to stop this lovely man's retirement and final years from being stripped away by his son's greed? We keep records of everything so proof is not a problem but we would prefer to just bind him down so he just cannot take any money. His father would be heartbroken so telling him about his son is not something I would want to do right now, just a few months after his wife passed away and he is struggling with daily affairs. Thanks so much for any advice.
Andrew
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,029
0
65
London
Hi Andrew I think you have come up with some good answers to your own question. Yes take actions that ensure that you and wife as attorneys have full control over his money and scratch off those numbers! Change the passwords on any online accounts that your father or BIL might know. Get and iron grip on his money.

Not sure about the arbitration idea. The brother in law could just ignore the arbitration decision.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
12,133
0
Yorkshire
Hello @AndyTai
A warm welcome to DTP

My condolences on the death of your mother in law, such a sad time for your family

It's really good that your wife, with your support, has been such a help to her father ... I hope his move goes well

It certainly seems that this gives your wife a useful reason to have her father's finances completely sorted out ... personally I would take as many steps as you can, and actually keep her brother fully informed so that although she doesn't confront him with past actions she makes clear how the finances will be tightly controlled from now on ... as an Attorney her brother has a legal responsibility to manage his father's affairs in the best financial interests of their father, so as arrangements will be doing just that her, brother will have no grounds to complain

I am assuming that you are not intending to go to the OPG with the information you have ... they may see the situation as simply disagreements between sibling Attorneys and expect the siblings to sort them out ... but wise to keep full records so that you are prepared

I'm not sure about involving solicitors, that puts relationships on a different footing and I'd suggest your wife keep things as amicable and informal as possible (I know how difficult it can be if Attorneys fall out)

Does your wife have online access to her father's accounts ... this would make monitoring them simpler and the brother would know any actions by him would be picked up immediately
 

Moggymad

Registered User
May 12, 2017
974
0
Just me but I would have a hard time not asking the BIL why he has taken that amount 3 times? As attorney your wife would have every right to question him about it plus the other money he’s had.
I don’t know if this may be a problem if you’re not an attorney?
Like many of you here, I have taken it on to manage his finances.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,190
0
High Peak
I would also confront him with the bank statements and ask for an explanation of the 3 payments for £1700 and also for the £20,000 he has apparently helped himself to.

If he can't account for it (and I very much doubt if he can) your wife should report him to the OPG. Attorneys are not allowed to benefit from the donor's money and it could also be considered deprivation of assets at a later date.

Maybe if you threaten to report him to the OPG and to the police (because it is theft!) unless he removes himself as attorney, that would work.

For your FiL, can you change the PIN number of his debit card so that BiL can't help himself to further cash? (I'm assuming BiL knows the number.)