Siblings dispute shows importance of planning

The daughters of an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease have successfully opposed a bid by their brother to take control of her affairs.

The recent case of Re PMB concerned a woman, referred to as ‘PMB’, born in 1927 who has three daughters and a son. She developed Alzheimer’s disease in 2012 and was placed in a nursing home in February this year.

In July, her youngest daughter DG and her sister RS applied to be made deputies for their mother’s property and affairs.

However soon after the application the woman’s eldest son, JG, opposed it on the grounds that they had made the application maliciously “with the intention, based on sibling disagreements, of continuing to exclude [him] from participation in my mother’s affairs.”

According to him they ignored his requests to be included in their mother’s affairs, and had excluded him from the process of clearing their mother’s property.

Sitting in the Court of Protection, Senior Judge Lush said he was unconvinced by his arguments and rejected the claim of malice and exclusion.

“His mother has assets that need to be managed and she is mentally incapable of managing them herself.” He said.

“In the absence of a Lasting Power of Attorney, someone had to apply to the court for the appointment of a deputy. The application was entirely appropriate and it was made with the assistance of PMB’s solicitors.”

He went on to say that JG had already received some sentimental items bequeathed to him by his mother in her will and that he had rejected an offer for him to be sent a copy of his sister’s annual report to the Office of the Public Guardian, who regulate deputyship.

Senior Judge Lush added that the sisters’ were nearer to their mother and both regularly visited her, while JG “had very limited contact with his mother since he returned to England three years ago.”

This latest case highlights the importance of planning ahead and setting up a lasting power of attorney, so that the right people can handle your affairs should something happen to you.

Lasting power of attorney agreements take the stress and uncertainty out of dementia and similar conditions for you and your family.