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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have joint power of attorney with my brother for my mam.

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I have joint power of attorney with my brother for my mam. Mam lives with me and is bed bound. I have looked after her for 4 yrs and have had to give my life up to do so. She is very well cared for. This has left me depressed and I have ended up spending over £30,000 of her money on my house, a car, and personnel possessions. My brother has found out.i want to go to the police myself and confess what I have done, but will mam be taking away from me
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Do you mean that you have stolen this money? Did your mother agree to let you have it?
Does your mother have mental capacity to agree to let you have it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Mam did give me the right to spend her money but I didn't get proof of that at the time. As she is now older and does get confused I do not want to distress her by getting my brother to ask her. I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers but none were prepared to look after mam
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
You say that you have a joint power of attorney with your brother. Is that joint meaning that you have to act together or is it joint and several meaning that you can act separately?
You say that your mother gave you the right to spend her money, if that is the case then, why would you want to confess to the police?
Did she give you the right to spend that money on your house? Or was it that she gave you the right to deal with her money for her? Those 2 things are quite different.
Did you access this money using the power of attorney?
You say that you don't want to distress her by getting your brother to ask would you not think that she's going to get distressed if she thinks that you are being prosecuted for fraud? That is not a legal question of course but I am just looking at the practicalities.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We had joint and severely POA. The reason I wanted to go to the police is because my brother and his wife are threatening my that if I don't do as they say they will go to the police and mam will be taken into care. My brother says he is selling the car, and everything else. Yes I had access to the money by POA . this is making me so ill and I still have to work 12hrs a day looking after mam. I just want it resolved
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
What exactly are they asking you to do? Are they saying that if you don't go to the police about this, they will or is it something else?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have to sell everything I have bought. They said they would report me to the police that is why I wanted to go to them myself. Also mam would be taken into care. My brother wants to see all of my bank statements. He already has mam's
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.
I will look at this now.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Because of what happened, there is probably nothing to be gained by not showing your brother your bank statements.
If they are saying that if you do not sell everything that you have bought to repay the money, then they will go to the police, that is actually demanding money with menaces, which is blackmail and is a criminal offence in itself.
However in order to make the complaint you are going to have to do disclose to the police what you have done so really they have you over a barrel.
Strange though it may seem, it is still blackmail even if you owe the money.
If they're willing to wait until you have sold your various items and repaid what money you can, that might be a good solution for you because you may avoid prosecution.
If you go to the police you will be prosecuted, you will end up with a criminal record and you are likely to be ordered to repay everything in any event so you would be no better off.
If no one wants to look after your mother and she is not capable of looking after herself, and was a danger to herself because of that, she would be taken into care if you received a custodial sentence (however short). You may get a suspended sentence particularly in view of the fact that you have owned up to this although this is breach of trust and as it is for a considerable amount of money and that would really come down to what sentence the court thought was appropriate.
There is a possibility, if your mother is of mental capacity to know what is happening, and her only disability is physical because of age, but if you are no longer looking after her, for carers to come in several times per day to look after her.
If your main concern is continuing to look after your mother then express that concern to your brother, offer to sell whatever you have to repay the money on the condition that it remains between you.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70012
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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