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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have been made signatory to a POA with two other related

Resolved Question:

I have been made signatory to a POA with two other related people, in the event it is required one day for my husband, who possibly has the onset of dementia due to other medical condition. I am now aware one of the other signatories has criminal record and I am concerned about potential conflict of interest in the future. Should the other signatory not be removed,what is the best course of action?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience. For the avoidance of doubt this is a power of attorney for your husband - is that correct please?If so is it an lasting power of attorney and have you discussed the matter with your husband?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dear *****,

Thank you for your prompt response. Here is an outline of the situation.

My husband suffers from Parkinson's disease, is 82 years old and may have the onset of dementia. We are married for 29 years,he has four sons from his late wife. Of the four sons, one has a criminal record, and a string of shady business deals behind him.

The rest of us, I and 3 sons, are struggling to look after his welfare, while my husband's health and behaviour deteriorates, this includes on his part, creating considerable havoc in the family. He has put the son with the criminal record on the POA, as well as myself and another son. Neither the third son nor I want to share POA with Jonathan, with his past conviction for drug dealing.

My husband's own lawyer tries to advise him, but we are at a stage were it is impossible to speak logically to him, all we get is abusive responses (aggressive behaviour due to his condition in part) Meanwhile I am his sole carer, though fully supported emotionally by his other sons, and I am at the end of my tether, and want to make sure I can protect myself from any potential wrongdoing.

I appreciate your help,

Bea

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much for the above. Would I be correct to assume that the POA is a lasting power of attorney?Have the attorneys been appointed jointly and severally? (i.e. can act together or independently?Has your son in question abused your husband financially with or with his power of attorney?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The POA was signed a few weeks ago, and has not come into effect yet unless/until my husband is declared incompetent (could happen soon).

We have single power up to expenses of £5000, above that two signatories are required up to £10.000, and above £10.000, the three of us have to sign. The 3rd son lives abroad, and has already asked his father to be removed from the POA. Jonathan lives in the UK.

There is no actual record of Jonathan abusing his father financially.

I am not sure the POA is a lasting POA, my husband is being advised by lawyers,bank and doctors for the last 2 years to make a POA, his son came to visit from abroad and on seeing his condition we again spoke to him about it, he has changed his mind many times,drawing and redrawing this with his lawyers, but basically 'not listening' to anyone, and finally making an erratic decision at the last minute, so I signed when spaced out due to a lack of sleep, don't have a copy,but suppose I could obtain one from the lawyer?

Bea

Bea

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I would assume this is a lasting power of attorney because an ordinary power of attorney would cease to have legal effect if your husbad lost capacity so it would not be an appropriate power to have signed at this point and I cannot imagine the solicitor would have recommended anything other than an LPA in the circumstances. An LPA consists of around 10-15 pages depending on how many attorneys there are. An ordinary POA is much shorter - just a page or two if that helps you recall.In any event he should have an LPA in place which I am sure is what has been done for him.Only your husband can make a decision to remove or appoint an attorney so if he is either a) not willing to remove his son or b) lacks capacity to do so at this stage then there is little that can be done for the present. However if he is not removed by your husband, then the other attorneys can keep a close eye on things and if any financial abuse is spotted then a report can be made to the Office of the Public Guardian's financial abuse team who can investigate, involve the police if necessary and make an application to the Court of Protection on your husbands behalf to remove his son. There will be little hesitateion in rmoving an attorney who is not acting entirely in your husbands best interests and if there is any financial abuse, any money taken is repayable to your husband under the Mental Capacity Act and a prosecution may follow. The OPG takes financial abuse very seriously and works closely with the police and Court of Protection to take steps against attorneys that are abusing their power. Contact details are here:https://www.gov.uk/report-concern-about-attorney-deputy Note that it is not necessary for an attorney to commit a criminal offence to be removed. If they are not acting in the donors best interests then their position will be in question - e.g. refusing to approve transactions which are in the donors best interests to advantage themselves can be a reason. If course it might be better to remove him from the LPA but unfortuantely as above this is reliant on your husband. As regards your son that lives abroad, because you can act independently for most transactions, he should not need to be involved in anything but the more significant transactions which should be rare. If he does not wish to act then of course he doesn't have to. I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dear *****,

Thank you for your very informative reply.

One last question:

re 'Only your husband can make a decision to remove or appoint an attorney'

Is this absolute, is it not possible to 'resign' one's power of attorney? I am appalled as I had to sign under pressure (due to time, lack of sleep and other contributing factors) Unusually for me, not reading the detail.

And thanks again for an excellent service,

Bea

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
I'm glad the above was of assistance. Oh of course yes an attorney can resign or refuse the appointment. My above comment was in relation toyour son whom I assumed would not willingly resign. To be clearer - unless an attorney refuses the appointment or chooses to resign voluntarily, only your husband can make a decision to remove or appoint an attorney or in the event he lacks capacity only the Court of Protection can order an attorney is removed. If you or any other attorney does not wish to act you can resign if already signed or refuse to accept the appointment by not signing if already signed.I hope that is clearer. I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.