Dementia Sufferer Let Down by Selfish Nephews

In a warning to the elderly that even close family members cannot always be trusted, a judge has come to the aid of an 86-year-old dementia sufferer whose nephews breached their legal duties and 'made a hash' of managing her financial affairs.

The pensioner had signed an enduring power of attorney, giving her nephews full power to deal with her finances on her behalf. However, her local authority had raised concerns after she fell almost £50,000 behind on her care home fees and an inquiry was launched under the auspices of the Public Guardian.

In stripping the nephews of their power of attorney, the Court of Protection found that they had contravened their authority and acted in a way which was not in their aunt's best interests. They had engaged in transactions which were not for her benefit and had mingled her funds with their own and those of other family members.

After finding that the nephews had consistently given priority to their own interests over those of their frail relative, the Court directed that the local authority – which was already funding the lion's share of the pensioner's care home fees – should take over management of what was left of her assets.

As members of the Dementia Action Alliance and having three Dementia Friends Champions at CWJ, we are extremely aware of the difficulties dementia brings to any family. To learn more and raise awareness about the effects of dementia register your place on to one of our monthly Dementia Friends seminars.

In this case the two nephews have consistently acted in an inappropriate manner regarding their aunt. Sufferers of dementia need help regarding their finances as they are in a frail state, when selecting an individual for your power of attorney you must be certain that they will keep your best interests at heart.

Contact us for any guidance or advice relating to power of attorney.

Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.