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Power of Attorney - one attorney is being so difficult

(20 Posts)
Arkengarthdale Fri 10-Mar-17 15:33:57

Hi all, some advice please. I am so sorry this is vague. It's also a bit long, so thanks in advance for your patience.

A relative with dementia has three attorneys. The attorneys are A, B and C.

A and B work really well together and can agree on everything with discussion. C is extremely difficult to deal with (and has been for many years) and ignores communications, will not answer calls or emails for weeks and when they do, they unleash a torrent of abuse and do not answer perfectly reasonable questions. C also threatens A and B with court action if A and B question the way C runs financial affairs.

The relative went into a home rather suddenly and their possessions went into storage as a short term measure. A and B have been trying to get together with C for eight or nine months to discuss what to do with the relative's possessions and property in the long term, but C will not respond to meeting requests, or will only make themselves available on the days A and B state they can't do. They all live several hundred miles apart. A and B have recently discovered that C emptied the storage six months ago and now will not answer questions as to what has been done with the possessions, except that everything was worthless and C objected to paying the monthly storage bill. Not everything in storage belonged to the relative - there were some personal items and furniture belonging to B which when B asked C about was told they were worthless too, although C refuses to say what has happened to the items.

C took over the management of the relative's bank account in a dodgy way just after POA was granted a couple of years ago (the bank has put strict usage measures in place since then - it took several months to sort out) but has neglected to pay bills on time and the relative is now in debt to various care providers. B has stepped in to arrange payment of the outstanding care costs etc and all is now covered going forward, with an arrangement in place to repay the debt. A and B have now got online access to the relative's bank account.

This has been extremely unpleasant and time-consuming to deal with over a situation which is actually quite straightforward. The relative needs residential care and has assets which require them to be self-funding. C has a history of poor financial decisions and has lost a business and had their house repossessed. A, B and C are all beneficiaries of the relative's will and C has stated on several occasions that the care system is criminal and is doing people out of their rightful inheritance. C is obsessed with money. C has a history of abusing A, including physical abuse. A is currently in a very comfortable position due to hard work and some luck, and C often makes comments in emails that A has acquired this position through dodgy means and does not deserve this as A is a really bad person. A has some health problems and this is difficult for A to deal with. A is frightened of C.

The relative owns property against which a charge will be made to cover care costs (this charge is being set up at the moment). The property has been let but there have been quite a few issues with tenants and it has been difficult and stressful to deal with. C will not help in any way with managing the property so most of the work falls to B because of location.

The current tenant has just given notice and A and B now think it is time to think about selling, given the difficult nature of dealing with the whole thing. This will free up the funds to pay for outstanding debts and ongoing care without incurring more debt and fees from the charge on the property by the council. However, it does mean that the property will not continue to appreciate in value. C refuses to attend a meeting to discuss how best to proceed with the sale or re-let of the house, and says they need to get legal advice. But if C has sought any legal advice in the month since the tenant gave notice, they have not shared it with A and B. A and B think that C is hoping there will be some equity still left in the property after the relative dies, so they get some inheritance. However, C will not do anything at all to help with managing the property and just criticises every suggestion put forward without coming up with any alternatives.

A and B have had enough of the difficulties and are keen to secure the relative's future without all the abuse and threats. A and B do not believe that C will ever agree to selling the property but will also not lift a finger to find and manage another tenant. When the property was managed by an agent, one tenant left £1000 of damage so A, B and C are unsure of going down the agency route again. C also objects to the fees agents charge.

The Court of Protection say the only options are for A and B to either give up their attorney-ship and let C be sole attorney, or grit their respective teeth and put up with the crap in the best interests of the relative.

Has anyone any advice on how to manage this situation and force C to work collaboratively? A and B do not trust C not to 'disappear' the relative's other assets as C did with the house contents. Can anything be done or do A and B just have to suck it up?

Thanks!

Userone1 Fri 10-Mar-17 15:35:34

I thought if you have 3. You only need 2 to agree?

Userone1 Fri 10-Mar-17 15:37:31

You also need 2 signatures to withdraw money. 1 cannot do it alone?

Userone1 Fri 10-Mar-17 15:38:54

And if C is not acting in the best interest, you can go to court and ask for C to be removed.

Arkengarthdale Fri 10-Mar-17 16:10:07

Thanks - not everything is joint, over a certain money limit has to be all three, and major decisions have to be all three. Day to day stuff can be authorised by any up to a certain limit.

Userone1 Fri 10-Mar-17 16:13:11

If C is not acting in best interests, you can go to court and ask for C to be removed.

Tobuyornot99 Fri 10-Mar-17 16:13:27

Go back to Court of Protection and get C removed

alltouchedout Fri 10-Mar-17 16:17:19

The Court of Protection say the only options are for A and B to either give up their attorney-ship and let C be sole attorney, or grit their respective teeth and put up with the crap in the best interests of the relative.

I don't think those are the only options. PoA can be withdrawn by the CoP if it can be shown that the person holding it is not acting in the best interests of the person they hold PoA for.

justnowords Fri 10-Mar-17 16:20:20

If C has been previously made bankrupt (i assume the case if the house was repossessed?) then they shouldnt have been made Attorney in the first place. Perhaps this will help to kick C out.

Arkengarthdale Fri 10-Mar-17 16:24:37

Court of Protection apparently said the only change that can be made is for A and B to withdraw. Perhaps they just thought C was being an awkward fucker but 'acquiring' rellie's possessions without agreement is surely wrong? C says A and B agreed because all three had a piece of furniture or something from the house, and therefore because A and B didn't mention the rest of the stuff they obviously didn't want it so it was down to C to deal with it! This surely can't be right? Even if it is second hand furniture and silver and china, surely disposal would come under joint responsibility? This is my best pal's situation (she's not on Mumsnet), her eldest sibling has always been an abusive twat ever since I've known her. Poor family.

Arkengarthdale Fri 10-Mar-17 16:27:59

Oh interesting point about bankruptcy. I'll ask about that. I know the person involved lives in a shed or caravan or something (not a house, anyway - doesn't believe in paying council tax)

Arkengarthdale Fri 10-Mar-17 16:29:21

..so also has no place to store stuff

Userone1 Fri 10-Mar-17 17:04:17

You say 'apparently said' why? Who told you?

Obviously you would prove that C isn't acting in best interests for a court to remove C.

Arkengarthdale Fri 10-Mar-17 17:09:25

My pal rang the Court of Protection and she said they told her that nobody could be removed. The option was for the other two to relinquish. I'm not sure she told the C of P about the possessions or the debt though.

Thanks for responses.

Userone1 Fri 10-Mar-17 17:09:40

www.whentheygetolder.co.uk/faq-appointing-lasting-power-of-attorney/

This might be helpful.

I have POA myself, just for welfare though. My sister and another relative have financial POA. It's a ridiculous set up, Im expected to 'look after' said person, while 2 other people control finances! I can see spark flying if it ever has to be used!

Arkengarthdale Fri 10-Mar-17 17:14:36

Thanks Userone1. I wonder what would happen if the other two who want to sell won't agree to the property being let? The mind boggles.

Good luck with your situation, it sounds like a possible can of worms

Userone1 Fri 10-Mar-17 17:56:52

If you cannot reach agreement, even with help. The only way to solve it is Court, which will be paid for from the estate.

It's in everyone's best interests to agree.

Yoksha Sat 11-Mar-17 17:59:02

www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-of-the-public-guardian

Try this site OP. Hope link eorks

Arkengarthdale Sun 12-Mar-17 13:11:20

Thanks again. The person in question undoubtedly thinks it's the other two being difficult!

Emmummums Mon 13-Mar-17 00:13:33

The situation sounds complicated. I would seek advice from a solicitor who specialises in Court of Protection work as the advice from the Court doesn't seem correct.

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