Sisters win against brother’s ‘power of attorney’ claim

Two sisters have got a High Court order preventing their brother getting power of attorney over the affairs of their father who suffers from dementia.

The sisters claimed their father did not have capacity to consent to enduring power of attorney, giving the son control over the father’s general affairs, including finances and property with no express limitations. They also claimed undue influence or fraud was used to induce him to hand over power.

The brother said his father was aware of what he was doing and had been aware enough to express concern about how a shortfall in payments to a nursing home he was living in would be met.

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Ms Justice Marie Baker was not satisfied the solicitor who drew up the documentation, and the father’s GP who certified it, had followed best practice in relation to execution of the power of attorney certificate.

In particular, she said, the last time the GP examined the father was seven weeks before the the power was executed by the man. A month after the doctor’s last examination, the father did not have capacity and displayed signs of confusion and agitation, she said.

Ms Justice Baker said it was quite apparent the GP executed the statutory power of attorney certificate on November 6 in circumstances where the doctor’s last consultation would have suggested lack of cognitive capacity.

The GP said his certification arose from “reliance on information” given by the solicitor.

The objection of the sisters was sustained and she refused to order that it be registered.

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