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Concerned about financial abuse

Susiour

New member
Mar 29, 2020
3
Hi
I’m new to this forum. My mother’s partner, aged 83, has Alzheimer’s. My mother now lives with him full time because of COVID 19. His sons have power of attorney and have recently taken his bank debit card off him. They have left him with a credit card but he can’t withdraw cash on it so has no cash. He recently became very agitated about not having his debit card but got muddled when he tried speaking to his sons. They reluctantly emailed him bank statements and my mother saw the sons had transferred £4000 each because they are furloughed. Neither don is very caring and they are happy to let my elderly mother do all the care, showering her partner, cooking, cleaning and shopping without a car. Obviously support is non existent under lockdown and my mum is very isolated with her partner. I feel extremely angry that they’ve taken this money as they are solvent adults who should be able to stand on their own feet. I don’t have a relationship with them but feel I want to say something. Any thoughts please?
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,455
N Ireland
Hello @Susiour and welcome to the forum.

I don't have experience of such a situation and others that do may be along later to give the benefit of their experience.

I do know that concerns can be reported to the OPG and it may be worth checking their website. I've put a link below
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,211
I agree, report it to the OPG. You have the evidence in the bank statements and they cannot take money from his account for their own benefit. The attorney must act in the person with dementia's best interests.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,669
North West
Its difficult ground reading between the lines, more information is needed in how the debit card was taken and that itself becomes a problem as its one persons word over another. BUT and here's the but, your mothers partner can only gift £3000 to his children each and no more, I am sure HRMC collector of taxes would be most interested.

Whether it is theft is arguable but there is clearly evidence on the statements that the money has been transferred. As others have said I would contact the OPG as it may be he still has capacity to manage his bank account and cards and LPA's first duty is to support that not remove it.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,455
N Ireland
May not be theft within the terms of the Theft Act which requires intention to permanently deprive the owner of the property(cash in this case).

Financial abuse may be an entirely different matter.
 

Susiour

New member
Mar 29, 2020
3
Thanks everyone. I feel it is theft- taking his card as well as the £8000 they have taken. But I think mum’s partner would say he gave it to them if questioned. He thinks he said they could have something but can’t remember how much. I don’t understand why they have taken his debit card as he hasn’t spent beyond his means, and in fact only goes shopping with my mother who helps him. None of it feels right and I’m worried they’re taking advantage.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,057
Yorkshire
Hello @Susiour
A warm welcome to DTP
Money can be a real concern and can cause huge family rifts
Are you sure your mother's partner didn't agree to the transfers or know that the sons won't be using the funds for their father... you can mention this to the OPG but they will need proof of wrongdoing to proceed in any way and if their father has capacity may consider that this is a family matter
If you have an opportunity, you might mention to the sons that household expenses are a bit tricky with their father having no cash and maybe remind them that an Attorney must act in the best financial interests of the donor, not benefit financially from being an Attorney and as long as the donor has capacity they must only act according to their wishes and with their permission

Personally, I would want to protect my parent... your mother may be living in the same property but should only be paying her share of any shared expenses plus all of anything for her use only, and should keep her money separate from her partner's
Should her partner need to move into residential care, or on his death, are you all clear about the expectations of the sons and her rights to remain in the property... or has she her own home to return to

Might shopping be done online and delivered... though I appreciate that can be tricky right now... maybe contact a local volunteer hub
And she/you need to make clear to the sons that your mother has no responsibility to provide care for their father, that ought to come from home care visits... no doubt another tricky issue with the sons... even now he/they/your mother can contact his Local Authority Adult Services to request an assessment of his care needs, though it's unlikely to happen for some time...

ADDED
I guess your mother chose to move in with her partner... to me she is being taken advantage of and as the sons are apparently less than helpful, maybe she needs to consider whether remaining there is a good idea
 
Last edited:

Susiour

New member
Mar 29, 2020
3
Hello @Susiour
A warm welcome to DTP
Money can be a real concern and can cause huge family rifts
Are you sure your mother's partner didn't agree to the transfers or know that the sons won't be using the funds for their father... you can mention this to the OPG but they will need proof of wrongdoing to proceed in any way and if their father has capacity may consider that this is a family matter
If you have an opportunity, you might mention to the sons that household expenses are a bit tricky with their father having no cash and maybe remind them that an Attorney must act in the best financial interests of the donor, not benefit financially from being an Attorney and as long as the donor has capacity they must only act according to their wishes and with their permission

Personally, I would want to protect my parent... your mother may be living in the same property but should only be paying her share of any shared expenses plus all of anything for her use only, and should keep her money separate from her partner's
Should her partner need to move into residential care, or on his death, are you all clear about the expectations of the sons and her rights to remain in the property... or has she her own home to return to

Might shopping be done online and delivered... though I appreciate that can be tricky right now... maybe contact a local volunteer hub
And she/you need to make clear to the sons that your mother has no responsibility to provide care for their father, that ought to come from home care visits... no doubt another tricky issue with the sons... even now he/they/your mother can contact his Local Authority Adult Services to request an assessment of his care needs, though it's unlikely to happen for some time...

ADDED
I guess your mother chose to move in with her partner... to me she is being taken advantage of and as the sons are apparently less than helpful, maybe she needs to consider whether remaining there is a good idea
Thanks so much for this. You have echoed everything I’m thinking. My mum has her own property and her finances are separate so there are no concerns there. I have started talking to her about stepping back as I feel the sons are taking advantage of her free care, they neither thank her nor help out. I am concerned about financial abuse but don’t feel I can rightfully get involved in that. However you have given several useful suggestions for diplomatic ways in to a conversation with the sons. Many thanks again.
 

concerned4

Registered User
Jun 3, 2012
60
It is classed as embezzlement fraud, a POA has to look after the donors best interests, have receipts for all purchases, if they are not staying with donor it is not for his benefit, having been in a similar situation I reported concerns to
1 Banks, asked them if they were aware that person has Vascular Dementia/Alzheimer's, initially they were concerned.
2 Local Authority ,absolute waste of time as it is basically a box ticking exercise.
3 Reported to OPG , they didn't take concerns at first but serious issues later on highlighted by bank.
4 Police classed as a civil matter initially, then wrote to Chief Constable highlighting concerns, this was what really started the ball rolling.
It can be classed as deprivation of assets as should the donor require care, sadly greed in this situation has no morals & unfortunately "family" seem to think that they can justify this by being "family" which in my book makes it worse.
Hopefully you can get this resolved without going down legal route as this is both costly & stressful.
 

spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
82
... your mothers partner can only gift £3000 to his children each and no more...
That £3,000 is the total allowed tax free each year, it's not per person.

 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,669
North West
That £3,000 is the total allowed tax free each year, it's not per person.

No but you can gift a different person each year -but yes I see the need for correction
 

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