Legal Help please- Deprivation of assets before step-fathers death

(18 Posts)
Ziopin47 Fri 08-Jan-21 16:15:26

Hello, I wonder if anybody could help please?

My step-father recently past away. My Mum has been married to him for over 20 years. During the last 15 months my Mum has been in a care-home with medical issues and my step-brother and family have been looking after my elderly step-father.

As I mentioned, he sadly passed away and my Mum is now dealing with his estate. She has realised that his family have taken around £90k from his bank account during the time she has been in the care home. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease about 3 years ago and his family does not have power of attorney.

Is this illegal? Is there anything she can do?

OP’s posts: |
Almostslimjim Fri 08-Jan-21 16:28:32

No it isn't legal. Report it to the police (who will do nothing, but you still need to) and then get a solicitor. You probably won't see the money again.

IndecentFeminist Fri 08-Jan-21 16:30:19

As his wife, were they not joint assets?

Ziopin47 Fri 08-Jan-21 16:34:02

Report it to the police? Really? No, they has separate bank accounts.

OP’s posts: |
CherryRoulade Fri 08-Jan-21 16:35:17

Yes its a police matter.

AwaAnBileYerHeid Fri 08-Jan-21 17:05:01

It is a police matter OP.

PragmaticWench Fri 08-Jan-21 17:07:33

If they were married, and depending on any will, it may be that his money was also your Mother's. Separate bank accounts doesn't mean anything. You need legal advice.

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titchy Fri 08-Jan-21 17:07:34

What's the money gone on? His food, bills? Presumably not £90k though, so yes police. They have stolen that money.

TeenPlusTwenties Fri 08-Jan-21 17:11:15

You called it deprivation of assets, not stealing.

Are you thinking they have stolen from your step-father and thus as your Mum is main or shared beneficiary, from her?

Or, as can be the case with step families, they are inheriting, and they have accessed money early so as to avoid inheritance tax on the remainder?

Who is executor of the will? It is presumably their problem.

Lockdownlovernotfromliverpool Fri 08-Jan-21 17:11:21

Recently a woman took her niece to court for spending 70k of her df's money... It is theft op. The woman was identified via bank atm cctv.

Glenorma Fri 08-Jan-21 17:13:22

Does it really matter? The money would only have been taken by the care home to pay for your mother’s care. Perhaps he purposely gave the money to his son to prevent that happening.

Dinosauraddict Fri 08-Jan-21 17:24:08

Firstly you need to talk to the family and get their opinion on a) whether the money was actually given rather than taken, and b) what it was spent on. Having Alzheimer's doesn't necessarily mean that the individual didn't have capacity (and capacity itself is not a static thing). Yes it may be theft, but it also may have been perfectly legal and intentional.

NailsNeedDoing Fri 08-Jan-21 17:27:05

Maybe he agreed to them having some inheritance early? It could easily be that he wanted to give it to them while he still could, it’s a choice that people often make if they are fortunate enough to be in a position to do so.

MutantNinjaCovid Fri 08-Jan-21 17:41:52

NailsNeedDoing

Maybe he agreed to them having some inheritance early? It could easily be that he wanted to give it to them while he still could, it’s a choice that people often make if they are fortunate enough to be in a position to do so.

Doesn't matter- he can't do that if they were married and anyway it would now form part of the estate.

Has he left them any money?

titchy Fri 08-Jan-21 17:42:21

Glenorma

Does it really matter? The money would only have been taken by the care home to pay for your mother’s care. Perhaps he purposely gave the money to his son to prevent that happening.


He had Alzheimer's - that implies he wouldn't have had capacity to do that.

Saz12 Fri 08-Jan-21 18:01:10

Is your Mum likely to stay in a care home for the rest of her life?

If so, then she will be expected to pay all her monies to fund her care (she’s allowed to keep her last £25k). If some of her (jointly owned) assets have been “gifted” to someone else (ie your step brother), by her spouse, then I THINK this “someone else” is then responsible for funding your Mums care when she can no longer pay, under “deprivation of assets” rules.

I guess your step brother was expecting to be able to get “his” part of the estate as his father wasn’t paying care home fees due to the brother looking after him. I don’t think this is how it works, but could be wrong. Your step-brother urgently needs legal advice if this is the case.

Your mother probs also needs legal advice especially if she is sole beneficiary of spouses will - the money may well all go on care, but being able to pay for care herself will mean she can pay extra for a better room (that wouldn’t be funded by Council ie taxpayers), etc. As well as having money to pay for specialist wheelchairs and the like.

1dayatatime Fri 08-Jan-21 18:44:39

So the crux of the legal issue is that his family took money from their father's bank account with no power of attorney.

Your mother (or you) need to first establish from the bank how this was possible. It could be for example that your step father wrote them a cheque in which case you will need to challenge his mental capacity that he knew or didn't know what he was doing at the time of writing the cheque. This will be very difficult and expensive to legally challenge.

Or it could have been the case that they just took his bank card and withdrew money from an ATM - this is theft.

But you need to find ASAP how that £90k was taken from the bank.

Ziopin47 Fri 08-Jan-21 19:03:09

Thanks for all you messages. My Mum inherits what money he had (which now only equates to around £6k) and his family take sole ownership of his house. I have requested bank statements from his bank to get a better picture of what happened to the money.

OP’s posts: |

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