Judge Rules Over Financial Guardianship For Woman With Dementia

Ruling Will See Daughters In Charge Of Financial Affairs, Despite Son's Concerns

11.11.2014

A legal disagreement between three siblings over who should manage the affairs of an 80-year-old woman with dementia has ended with a ruling.

The woman's two daughters asked to be appointed as her financial deputies, while the woman's oldest son argued that an independent person should be put in charge of his mother's affairs, the Press Association reports.

He claimed that his two sisters had taken "personal effects" from their mother's home, and that one of the sisters was in thousands of pounds' worth of debt and was unable to manage her own finances.

However, the man's objections were dismissed after a hearing in the Court of Protection, where cases involving sick and vulnerable people are analysed.

In a written ruling, Judge Denzil Lush said the man had not mounted an "effective challenge" to his sisters' competence, and that "safeguards built into the system" should assuage any fears over her care.

The family cannot be identified for legal reasons, but the 80-year-old woman lives in a care home in Berkshire, while her son and daughters are in their 50s and 60s.

Expert Opinion
This case highlights the incredibly difficult circumstances which can be created as a result of concerns regarding the welfare of a loved one who is unable to manage their own affairs. We see numerous cases when relationships between family members can be irrevocably damaged as a result of such disputes, with siblings or others disagreeing with how matters should be handled.

"Such issues are why it is so important to plan for the future, by preparing a will or also putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place to ensure that a loved one of your choosing manages your affairs when you are unable to. It is also key to communicate the reasons behind such decisions to family and friends, so no one is left in any doubt regarding the reasons behind the steps taken."
Paula Myers, Partner