Thank you Question.
My mother handles her routine cash accounts ok. (a) bank current account, statements, and debit card, and (b) building society pass book. In the past year she mislaid her debit card first time ever, but she realised that and reported it to my brother-in-law as soon as she returned home via the bus, and the card was immediately recovered.
She knows when one of her grand children have not cashed a Xmas cheque! In 2014 she realised her cash accounts were getting too big, and consulted me (as described in my Question to you).
Regarding investments, she does not deal with these, except to see the resultant monthly income payments arrive in her current account, to supplement her pension. When my Father was alive, he invested on behalf of both himself and my Mother. In 2004, my brother-in-law arranged to be consolidated -term use, through a financial adviser. So she is lacking in culture as well as experience.
"Could my Mother sufficiently understand a non-technical investment situation, and be willing to make a choice between two reasonable alternative paths of action to maximise benefit in a few years hence?" I would have to say 'NO'. She would seek not only advice, but direction.
It is with this in mind that I worry about Powers of Attorney.
I hope this conveys the information you need.
I have met him once, and we got on well. However, he has been a long-standing adviser to my Brother-in-Law, and he is not a trustee. He has made his opinion on the lack of trustee meetings clear. So, whilst I can contact him, I am loath to open a private conversation without understanding the legal context of my actions.
I do know (because I asked him) that the Financial Adviser's services are free of charge, in respect of my mother's investments. His firm is remunerated simply out of commission on sale of investments. Whilst this has cost advantages to my Mother, I suspect it means that the Adviser will not initiate evaluations of investment bond performance. If this were done, it we might ensure that my mother's monthly income is drawn, were possible, from those bonds that are historic under-performers. I doubt that my brother-in-Law is so minded, but I dont know.
So far as I can perceive, when my Mother's income from investments was reduced, due to a change in living arrangements, it was the Financial Adviser who instructed the relevant funds to reduce monthly payments to my mothers bank account. If this is the sole way in which my mother's investments are handled, then it is a wise one; but I dont know.
Finally, my personal position is NOT one of seeking to control (ie be in charge; boss) other Trustees and Trust business. I simply see my mother's wealth (in Trust or otherwise) becoming more vulnerable under the effective control of a single person. I hope there is a nice way of sorting this out, as we do meet and spend time together, very politely and sometimes more!
Q: Tactically would you feel comfortable involving a separate solicitor?
A: Yes, I will need the help of a solicitor, given a clear cut case in English Law that the Trust must manage its affairs differently, and (I trust) arrive at decisions unanimously.
The solicitor would advise, produce documentation Trustees and, if need be, negotiate the way the Trust will work.
Given a new agreement, what is to stop the agreement being ignored in detail?
What scale of costs attach to this work?
Given a clear cut case in English Law that the Trust must manage its affairs differently, who would be liable to meet the legal costs?
Many thanks, ***** ***** helped me with practical advice, and have enabled me to organise my thinking.
I shall find a solicitor in English law (I live in Scotland)