Sister using Dad's bank accounts to pay her own bills

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by meli, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. meli

    meli Registered User

    Oct 17, 2015
    13
    Dad is in a care home and is self-funding. I have seen that she has been paying her own bills out of one of Dad's accounts and is also using his credit cards. I told her to stop doing this but she is just not listening. I don't want her to get into trouble with the law as I feel pretty sure that she shouldn't be doing this. She says she has paid some of the money back and will continue to do so when she can. Sorry, I forgot to say that we have joint PoA.
    Dad's funds are running out and we will have to sell his home. Now my sister is saying we should buy another property to let because his house would need a lot of repair work being done to it. Can siblings with joint PoA sell their parents property and then use it to buy another property? It doesn't seem right to me and I am refusing to go along with her.
    Even though we have joint PoA could she sell it without me knowing?

    I'm also worried about where the proceeds would go to. Because of what she's been doing I'm reluctant to having the proceeds going to an account which she can also get into.

    Can anybody help me here. I can't sleep with worry. Dad is the important one here and I want him to be able to stay where he is but if my sister uses up the money .. I can't bear to think of what might happen to my Dad.
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,642
    Kent
    If your dad`s capital reduces by more than his regular expenses questions will be asked eventually and your sister may be prosecuted for misappropriation of funds.

    If you hold joint POA I would seek legal advice immediately because you could be held equally responsible.
     
  3. meli

    meli Registered User

    Oct 17, 2015
    13

    Thank you for your quick reply Grannie. Now I'm really worried.
    It's bad enough seeing ones parent drifting away from one but now I have to either get my sister to see sense or turn her in. God, what to do? I love my sister but Dad comes first.

    Do you know if she could sell Dad's property without me knowing and then buy another one?
     
  4. In a Whirl

    In a Whirl Registered User

    Feb 23, 2015
    62
    First thing the POA ..do you have "joint" or "jointly & severally" POA. Makes a big difference to your ability to stop things happening. "Jointly & severally" means each of you can act independently.
    Second thing. As an attorney you must by law look after your Dad's money. No ifs or buts. Your duty under the law trumps any family feelings.
    Brutal truths.

    The Office of the Public Guardian can call for accounts at any time.If they did, you could be called to account for failing to spot what was going on. In other words you were not looking after his money for him carefully enough.:eek:

    Perhaps you could get a copy of the leaflet from the Office of the Public Guardian describing the duties of attorneys & give it to your sister. Might work.
     
  5. meli

    meli Registered User

    Oct 17, 2015
    13
    Hi

    I've looked at the letter from the Office of the Public Guardian and all it says is that LPoA has been registered. the application form just mentions my sister and I as being attorneys. The first attorney is my sister and I'm the second.It doesn't even say anything about jointly.

    I certainly will get a copy of the leaflet.
    Many thanks
     
  6. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Look at the POA document. It should clearly say whether POA is 'joint' or 'joint and several'. Don't delay, you can't put yourself at risk legally by allowing this to continue. You need to convince your sister that this must stop now and the money must be repaid otherwise you have no alternative but to report this to OPG. If you don't you are colluding in what you know is wrong and would be equally culpable. You would find it hard to prove you didn't agree with what your sister is doing from the outset.

    Most likely you would both be removed as attorneys and your dad would have to have someone outside the family appointed (like a solicitor or the LA). This would deplete your Dad's capital faster as these professionals would charge for their services.

    It takes a while to sell a house so you have time to find out if one of the attorneys can legally sell a house if they are 'joint and several' attorneys. I'm not a lawyer, but I would expect most lawyers to want both signatures for something so important even if it's not technically necessary.
     
  7. Namrah

    Namrah Registered User

    Oct 17, 2015
    12
    do check the joint or severally clause

    Hi do be very careful, possibly worth a quick few consultation with a solicitor, most do this, about being second in charge so to speak or jointly and severally. Any concerns should and must be raised to the OPG to protect the vulnerable ones we love and care for. I am going as far as keeping spreadsheets with the expenses my partner and I incur for mum with date, who, reason, credit/debit card or cash and amount. Then paid when it is each month. I start a new tab each month. The receipts are kept too in case anybody (Brother or Sister in particular) question me, tough love is called for. If you are named you have a responsibility legally for his safety and wellbeing including money. (This assumes the POA is property & affairs - check the health & welfare one too praps?)
    Namrah XX
     
  8. In a Whirl

    In a Whirl Registered User

    Feb 23, 2015
    62
    The easiest way to stop the credit card abuse is to use your POW to cancel the card.

    The problem with using the card to get money is that if used at the hole in the wall it cannot be proved who used the card...ditto purchase transactions. However if your sister used the card to pay bills then that will show a connection between your sister & the bill payment .. using the card.
     
  9. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,272
    Male
    North Manchester
    It is unclear whether or not the sister is, perhaps fraudulently in the absence of a third party agreement, using the father's card and PIN or is using a card issued to her as attorney. In the latter case she can withdraw as much as she likes, it is the use of the cash that is in question.

    As has been said the OP has a legal duty to protect her father's finances and could be held to account if she fails to do this.
     
  10. meli

    meli Registered User

    Oct 17, 2015
    13
    Thank you for your reply. I am shaking like a leaf because I would never, in a hundred years, have thought my sister would do something like this.
    For your information, I live abroad and have had to use my PoA to collect information but it's not easy. I do not have the cards, cannot log into bank accounts. I have only been able to gather information by telling my sister to use the card reader and give the codes through to me.


    I want to concentrate on my lovely Dad and not on all this financial stuff.
    I can't sleep and can't eat because I'm frightened my Dad will be turned out of the home and put somewhere not very nice. He's so happy where he is. My lovely, lovely,poor Dad. I thank the Lord that he doesn't know and wouldn't understand what's going on.

    My sister is now telling me that she has used Dad's money to buy Premium Bonds - I have no idea under which name these have been registered. This is getting more complicated by the minute.
    I'm getting desperate. I love my sister and don't want her to get into trouble.
    But I will fight to protect my Dad and myself.
     
  11. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,272
    Male
    North Manchester
    You could ask your sister to scan all the documents and email them to you.

    If you have security concerns she could encrypt them using something like
    http://www.axantum.com/axcrypt/

    Note that it would be best if both of you installed Axcrypt as the self decrypting is an exe which may cause problems with email attachments.
     
  12. meli

    meli Registered User

    Oct 17, 2015
    13
    Note that it would be best if both of you installed Axcrypt as the self decrypting is an exe which may cause problems with email attachments.[/QUOTE]

    Hi

    I have been requesting statement copies for the last two years and have received nothing. That's why I have had to work so hard getting the information using my PoA and calling the various companies. She is not cooperating at all.
     
  13. meli

    meli Registered User

    Oct 17, 2015
    13
    Hi Namrah

    Many thanks for your post. We only have PoA on financial and property.
     
  14. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,481
    Female
    London
    Premium bonds are an absolutely rubbish investment. You don't get any interest and just might win £25 now and then. Having a few is ok as a gamble but if she has invested a lot of money in them she is not acting in his best interests. Have you checked now what type of POA you have? On my document the info about jointly or jointly and severally is on page 5.
     
  15. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,272
    Male
    North Manchester
    "That's why I have had to work so hard getting the information using my PoA and calling the various companies. She is not cooperating at all."

    Very difficult position.
    Your first aim must be to ensure that your Dad's finances are being correctly handled, you also want to ensure that you don't get adversely involved in any investigation of how they are being, or have been, handled.

    Sadly I feel that you have to consider informing your sister that if she continues to be uncooperative you will contact the OPG/COP both to protect your Dad's finances and your own position. You have a legal duty to do all that you can to ensure that your Dad's finances are correctly managed.
     
  16. meli

    meli Registered User

    Oct 17, 2015
    13
    Hi Beate

    Yes I have checked and, I guess unfortunately for me, it is jointly and sev... (sorry, can't remember the exact word). So my understanding is that we can both act inependantly.

    I've sent my sister an article from The Telegraph outlining that Premium Bonds is a rubbish investment. She will have nothing of it.

    In the country I live in if have the PoA you must keep the value of monies and property and not increase the value of same. Sorry for my English - I can't remember the word for "keeping the value of the money" In my opinion investing in anything is pure speculation.
     
  17. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,272
    Male
    North Manchester
    I've never tried to register a joint and several power with the NS&I but knowing how they generally act I would be surprised if they allowed one attorney to register under a joint and several power without any other attorneys being involved.
     
  18. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,481
    Female
    London
    The bad news is that with joint and several your sister can do things without needing your approval. The good news is that you can do the same. Contact your mum's banks and the NS&I and demand that they send you documentation and statements etc. You might need to send them a certified copy of the LPA and copies of ID, seeing that you are calling from abroad. Ask what their protocol is. You could also try to cancel any cards plus inform the OPG once you have the statements and see what's been going on. Your Mum's money should be invested wisely and not locked away in a product that can't be accessed quickly. It's fine to put it into a saving account that pays a good rate of interest but I wouldn't speculate with high risk products. Premium bonds aren't high risk, but they don't generate any interest and are basically a form of lottery. The problem is that if your sister and you cannot work together as attorneys the OPG might cancel the LPA if they see a problem with how the money is managed. Try very hard to make your sister see sense. She won't like the consequences otherwise!
     
  19. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,418
    With all due respect Beate, my mother had the full allotment of Premium Bonds (purchased before she got ill) and the rate of return on them was higher than any safe savings account. I think it does make a difference how much you have in them though...

    I wouldn't have purchased them as an attorney though (apart from anything else I found NS & I impossible to deal with).
     
  20. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,481
    Female
    London

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