Family members acting as attorneys?

Last week we covered off some of the issues associated with Lasting Power of Attorney and what happens if family members take advantage. Not only does this often lead to financial difficulty for the vulnerable family member, but it can also cause a lot of heartache for other family members involved.

As a follow up to that story, the papers highlighted another case of an individual, a lady, who had nominated one of her sons to act as her Attorney, whilst she was still of sound mind. Her other son, was offended by her decision, however was told that the Lasting Power of Attorney had been validly created and was effective. This meant that the son appointed by his mother would be her attorney if and when required to act at his mother’s insistence, during her lifetime.

Upon the lady’s death however, the other son, who was executor and a beneficiary in his mother’s will, appointed a solicitor to investigate his late mother’s accounts, including the period where her son appointed as attorney acted for his mother.

Even though the investigation didn’t lead to anything, the process delayed probate by more than three years . This was all because the son who was not appointed as attorney had been convinced there had been wrongdoing by his brother.

We are increasingly coming across issues in probate matters for various reasons, which is why it is ever-more important to consider who to appoint as an attorney and what checks and balances there should be.

If you would like any further advice relating to LPAs, or for any other matters such as will disputes or probate, Contact Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.

Liz Dalgetty

Liz Dalgetty

Consultant Solicitor & Notary Public

Tel: +44 (0) 1306 502251

Office: Dorking Office