Attorneys have a duty to act in the best interests of the Donor (person who gave them the Power to act as Attorney). This includes only making gifts which the Donor would ordinarily have made for seasonal purposes and only then with regard to the Donor’s funds at the time.
In a minimally conscious state, a 72-year-old woman was unable to tell anyone what she wanted in terms of medical treatment or intervention, this left the court to decide on her behalf, taking into account what she might have wanted.
A Power of Attorney is a useful method protection if you become unable to deal with financial matters yourself. However, nominating a loved one to take on this responsibility may not always be the best option, it may be wiser to use a good lawyer instead as the following case demonstrates.
A case in which a son abused his power of attorney to squander £230,000 of his frail mother’s money underlined the wisdom of employing an experienced lawyer – rather than a loved one – to manage your finances if you lose the ability to do so yourself.
The wisdom of entrusting your financial affairs to loved ones in the event of illness was thrown seriously into doubt by one High Court case in which a 95-year-old dementia sufferer was let down by a dishonest and stingy relative.