AH, Re [2016] EWCOP 9 (02 February 2016)

Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Picture of Alan PickardThe matter concerned an elderly spinster who was one of 4 siblings. She had dementia since 2010 and lived in a nursing home. Prior to that she lived in the family home which she had inherited from her mother. In late 2010 she executed a LPA in favour of her niece’s husband and she only named her late brother’s widow (the attorney’s mother in law) as a person to be advised. The LPA was registered with the Court on 13/4/11.

The Public Guardian later became concerned that the Attorney had abused his position and issued an application to the court which sought to have the LPA revoked and for a Panel Deputy to be appointed with power to investigate the management of the donor’s affair. In particular it was noted that the donor’s care home fees had not been paid which placed her at risk, that another property had been purchased in the donor’s name for £60,000 in June 2011 and that the Attorney was evasive whenever financial questions were raised of him.

The Application was issued on 11/6/15 and directions were subsequently issued which inter alia required the Applicant to serve papers on the Respondent and for the Respondent to file a witness statement in reply. Many of the allegations made against the Respondent were denied and a further directions timetable was issued. On 2/11/15, the donor’s Social Worker made an application which sought to have the responsible local authority joined into the proceedings and it was stated that they were undertaking an investigation of suspected financial abuse against the donor.

Further witness statements were filed and the matter was heard on 17/1/16 by Senior Judge Lush when he considered all of the evidence and the facts before stating that the Attorney had behaved in a way which contravened his authority and had not acted in the donor’s best interest. He was satisfied that the donor lacked capacity to revoke the LPA and he subsequently ordered the revocation of this.

The full judgment can be read here

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