Battling sisters lose control of elderly mother’s finances

Two sisters who were said to ‘detest each other’ and no longer speak have lost the right to look after their elderly mother’s finances.


Their 97-year-old mother drew up a lasting power of attorney (LPA) eight years ago appointing them as her deputies so they could make decisions on her behalf if she became unable to manage her finances herself.


The mother is now frail and in need of support but a judge has ruled that the sisters – a retired GP aged 61 and a radiographer aged 58 – are not fit people to carry out the task.


The ruling came when the case came before the Court of Protection, which looks after the interests of the elderly and the vulnerable. Judge Denzil Lush did not identify the family but said: “The daughters don’t see eye to eye. In fact, they detest each other.”


“According to (the retired GP), the two of them have been in the same room together on five occasions during the last five years, and on each occasion (she) has refused point blank either to speak to her or even acknowledge her presence.


“The only communication between them is by email, and this is usually rancorous in tone.


“I consider … both unsuitable to be their mother’s attorneys … because of the intense acrimony between them.”


The judge ordered that an independent attorney should be appointed to look after the mother’s interests.


Lasting powers of attorney are a tried and trusted way to protect your interests, but you should always seek professional advice and make sure your chosen deputies are suited to making decisions on your behalf.


A solicitor can explain the issues involved and the qualities needed in the people who are going to represent you. It’s important that any deputies know their roles and their limitations, and they must be able to get on and communicate.


Please contact us if you would like more information about lasting powers of attorney. Our Private Client team comprises specialist solicitors and advises clients on Powers of Attorney, Wills and Estate Administration and is based in Cardiff and Bridgend. Our Dispute Resolution team also advises clients in relation to Will disputes and challenging Wills.