I suspect my brother is fleecing my dad

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by nida, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. nida

    nida Registered User

    Nov 24, 2015
    2
    And that's hard for me to say.
    A few months ago my 92 year old father and 67 year old brother went to see a financial advisor to provide access for my brother to Dad's accounts. About 6 weeks ago he set up a Lasting Power of Attorney. Earlier this week I received a communication from a family member who wanted to warn me that my brother is possibly using Dad's account to support his alcohol habit (a litre of whiskey a day), and to pay his own personal living expenses. I don't know what to do. I live abroad and don't know where to begin sorting out this mess.
    Dad still lives in his own home, and is in good physical health. He is "a little forgetful" by his own admission, but no diagnosis has been made with regard to Alzheimer's or Dementia. I'm hoping it's not appropriate to post to this forum. I've read through many threads and know that some folks here can hopefully respond and speak from experience.
     
  2. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,776
    Salford
    Hi Nida, welcome to TP
    Before we set up a lynch party it is at the moment an unsubstantiated allegation which may or may not be true. It must be based on something but a litre of whisky (and I bought one a few hours ago) only cost me £15 so that is £105 a week if anyone could actually drink that much.
    Is it possible you could contact the FA who helped set up the POA and see if there's anything they could do by way of keeping an eye on things. As your Dad is only a bit forgetful at present is there a relative who might be able to see bank statements to see if there actually is anything untoward happening without causing too many waves.
    Other than that all you can do (as I see it) is to go to the Court of Protection and ask them to intervene but it will take time and once they're involved cost money too, but other than persuading your brother to resign the POA and let someone else do it there's very little other you can do.
    As I said before the first thing you need to establish is guilt, a relative saying "brother is possibly using Dad's account" and you suspecting it neither are hard facts.
    Regrettably the situation you suspect all too often turns out to be what's actually happening so you have my sympathy.
    K
     
  3. nida

    nida Registered User

    Nov 24, 2015
    2
    #3 nida, Nov 25, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
    Thank you, Kevinl. I'm sure there's plenty of evidence to support the family member's suspicions, otherwise he would have not unduly alarmed me, since I'm half a world away.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for web sites where I might bring myself up to speed on the UK POA laws/regulations. I have lived abroad for over 30 years, and all these acronyms, initials and abbreviations are like a foreign language.
    Afterthought on the whiskey. He said it's Johnny Walker, or Glen something.
     
  4. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,776
    Salford
    As long as your father has capacity and from your description it sounds like he does and backed up by the fact there is no formal diagnosis he can simply cancel the LPA (link to the UK Gov website below). If he had the capacity to set it up as little as 6 weeks ago then there's not too much argument that he's gone downhill in that short a space of time so he can if he wants change it to someone else or add another person.
    The family politics of who tell the son, what they tell him and why it's happening is something else.
    Firstly you'll have to get Dad to agree and it may be that may be a problem, the son he sees everyday (possibly) versus the daughter half a world away, would he be prepared to do it?
    It might be your Dad helps the son out a bit (financially) for all the help he gets from him on the "you can't take it with you when you go" basis so dishing out a few quid to your helpful son isn't a problem to him, if he's getting some money from Dad it might be with his consent, it's possible!
    It'll need some very delicate handling and it's a bit of a no win situation either way someone is going to fall out. Chuck in the alcohol issue too light the blue touchpaper and retire to a safe distance as it says on fireworks.
    If you can show the facts to your Dad that your brother is taking his money without his consent then they fall out, if you can't convince him and he sides with your brother then you and him and your brother all fall out, serious possibilities of a mega family rift.
    Sorry if that doesn't sound too helpful/hopeful they're just my thoughts for what they're worth.
    K

    https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney/end
     
  5. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    My MIL was knowingly - and willingly but secretly - gifting substantial sums of money to one of my sisters in law every month to 'help her out'. This only came to light when my husband started to look after his mum's bank accounts when she could no longer be bothered with the paperwork.

    My MIL's view was that she ran a surplus on her account every month and that daughter needed the money more than she did. She was quite within her rights to do so, but I have to say we were pretty shocked when we found out at first, given what you read on here, but after my husband talked to his mum about it - and told his other sister so there were no surprises or accusations further down the line - then he supported his mother's decision. He didn't agree with it, but his mum had capacity at that stage and it was her money to distribute as she wished.

    Yes, it was unfair. No-one else in the family got as much as a fiver in a birthday card, whilst this daughter was the recipient of a substantial sum, every month.

    It all stopped once MIL went into care and my husband took control of the finances. Everyone was then treated the same and SIL's little private slush fund dried up. I'd be less than honest if I said it didn't still rankle, but hey, that's families for you.

    Perhaps you should have a chat with your dad before you take any action? It may be all above board.
     
  6. Ellaroo

    Ellaroo Registered User

    Nov 16, 2015
    161
    Liverpool
    Would you let safeguarding team at social services investigate ? I did and a substantial amount had been taken over a period of 4 years, before mum was diagnosed but there was cognitive impairment.... Person living with mum was intercepting bank statements. Done by using mums bank account using credit card to,pay bills but systematically taking more and more.
    Mum was v upset , now lives with me andcsocial services sw persuaded mym not to procecute as defence would wipe floor with mum having a memory impairment... And money had been spent on gambling, ale and expensive holidays so no chance or recovering it.

    Sw said atleast we have stopped it reoccurring.....
    Since it happened is more common than youd think. My mums was on a grand scale though .
    Nearly ascbad as mum having dementia, how it upset me x
     
  7. meme

    meme Registered User

    Aug 29, 2011
    1,953
    Female
    London
    "possible" isn't good enough in my mind....your brother is looking after Dad and keeping him company...if Dad pays for some of his living expenses or the odd drink what is wrong with that...at least you know Dad is happy and looked after...why would you want to report this on one unsubstantiated bit of tittle tattle ..
     

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