RM, Re [2016] EWCOP 25 (12 May 2016)

Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

In 2014, R executed a Lasting power of attorney (LPA) for property and financial affairs in which he appointed to his wife (who later died in 2015), son and daughter and an LPA for health and welfare in which he appointed his daughter, S, as sole attorney. The office of the Public Guardian (OPG) later became concerned with S’s conduct and started to investigate her as there were concerns for her own mental capacity; this meant the OPG opened a formal investigation into Sue’s behaviour.

During the investigation meetings were conducted with both R and S. In R’s meeting it was clear that he lacked the mental capacity to agree to an LPA in the first place as he wasn’t even aware as to what an LPA was.  The report from the meeting concluded that R’s son, P, was acting accordingly in his role as a finance and property attorney however there were grave concerns about S’s role as an attorney for his health and welfare.  During a meeting with S it was clear that she was struggling with her role as LPA for property and finance due to sharing it with P who she struggled to work jointly with due to their volatile relationship. There were also concerns about her role as LPA for her father’s health and welfare as she seemed unwilling to work with other professionals involved in her father’s care. The report concluded that it did not seem workable for S to be an LPA for her father’s property and financial affairs or his health and welfare.

Following the report S and P both had their LPA’s suspended and later had a hearing so the court could decide whether their LPA’s should be revoked. The hearing resulted in the LPA for property and financial affairs being partially revoked to P who would be the sole attorney.  However, as S had shown commendable conduct in her proposals for co-operation with her brother, this compelled the Judge to let her continue to act as her father’s attorney for health and welfare. The LPA for health and welfare would therefore not be revoked and the OPG’s application for this was dismissed.

The full judgment can be read here

Summary by Claire Richardson

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