How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34276
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
13262538
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

My younger brother has obtained lasting power of attorney over

Resolved Question:

My younger brother has obtained lasting power of attorney over our mother who lives with him. He is her carer and receives carers' allowance and all her pension. When this arrangement started about 18 months' ago she had sold her house for around £160,000, which my brother has put into several bank and investment accounts.
Prior to this situation and when our father was alive, any money, as inheritance, was to be split 50/50 between my brother and me. I am now concerned that the money is being used to 'pay' my brother an income (as he states that he is employed by our mother), and that very little money will be left as shared inheritance, or worse that I have been effectively written out of it altogether.
So before I tackle my brother over this I would like to know my legal position.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Do you have any reason to think that he is using her funds in this way?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Clare


 


Yes he definitely is and he has told me as much: " I am not doing this for nothing you know" and, " as far as the tax man is concerned, she is my employer" and, "if it wasn't for looking after mother I wouldn't have had any money for the last 18 months." This situation was never discussed between us.


 


Historically we both worked in a small engineering business, owned by me, that suffered in the recession and as such is being wound down. Neither of us is directly employed any more. I am 67 and retired, he is 56.


 


We have never been very close and don't tend to talk about issues, so I have let this situation pass until now, when I just get the feeling I may well have been taken out of the picture entirely, particularly as my mother has always been more fond of my brother, whereas I tended to get along with my father more, when he was alive.


 


A few years ago my brother was declared bankrupt ( a tactical move) and at that time my parents will was made entirely over to me for safekeeping during the time the bankruptcy was running. Since my father's death a couple of years' back I imagine that a new will has been drawn up.


 


As my mother is not very well and is not likely to last much longer I am concerned to know what the situation is and if I have any claim, either to a residual or to the way the money has been administered before I approach him to put cards on the table, so to speak?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Has the Lasting Power been registered?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
As her Attorney your brother can only use the assets for the benefit of your mother
If you suspect abuse then you can report the matter t the Court Of Protection who can require him to account for his actions.
More details here
.https://www.gov.uk/report-concern-about-attorney-deputy
http://www.justice.gov.uk/protecting-the-vulnerable/mental-capacity-act/if-you-suspect-abuse
It could be worth making it clear to your brother that you do NOT wish to do this but instead wish to review matters with him to avoid the necessity
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you I am clear on this. It is a moot point however as he could claim that having him look after her is to her benefit.


What I really want to know is it acceptable that he receives an 'allowance/payment' as such, to be the 'paid' carer - which is what he is doing. As I see it the money that was as a result of the sale of my mother's house is being reduced by this action ( by how much I don't know of course), such that I have no control over what any residual amount would be. If it is the case that he can claim for caring after her - is there an accepted amount or can he take whatever amount he considers is right?


I also have no knowledge of what he has done with the money other than it has been put into a variety of accounts, presumably in her name.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Are you sure that he is not referring to the Carers allowance?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, at £60 per week this is not what he is living on! He has all her pension of course as well. He lives very high off the hog at the best of times which is why he went bankrupt a few years ago, living beyond his means. I just need to know if there is a recognised amount a carer could expect to be paid or can anyone elect an amount to suit their needs? Trust me, he is milking the situation and I just need to know where I stand, that's all. If there's nothing I can do then so be it.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Sadly there is no set rate as to what is reasonable or not.
One guide could be the going rate for a full time carer - say 40 hours a week at minimum wage
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
By not stating the obvious or merely suggesting web sites for further information.The answers were cursory and of no consequence.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry that you are not happy with the service I have given.
You asked what your legal position was and whether there was a "set rate" that your brother could pay himself for caring for you mother.
Your legal position is that if you believe that your brother has misappropriated your mothers funds then you need to raise the matter with the Court of Protection whose job it is to investigate
The websites I referred you to give the details of their powers - and how to complain
Equally there is no "set rate" that your brother can pay himself.
It is for your mother to have decided what she wished him to have OR for your brother to prove that the costs of providing the care that he has provided was the same as or more than the amount that he was paid.
Clearly I can only give you an overview of your position - hence the referral to websites where you can find more detail
If there is further specific information you wish to have then please ask
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you