Man loses control of mother's funds

A High Court judge said a man could no longer have control of his 92-year-old mother's finances.

A High Court judge said a man could no longer have control of his 92-year-old mother's finances.

First published in National News © by

A 62-year-old businessman must no longer have control of his 95-year-old mother's finances following allegations that he used her income to "subsidise his lifestyle", a judge has ruled.

Judge Denzil Lush concluded that the man's management of his mother's finances had "spectacularly backfired", after analysing evidence at a hearing in the Court of Protection - which handles cases involving sick and vulnerable people.

Detail of the case has emerged in a written ruling by Judge Lush after a hearing in London in May.

The judge said no-one involved could be identified.

But he said the man lived in Brighton, East Sussex, and his mother, who had assets and investments totalling about £70,000, was in a care home near Brighton.

And he named the local authority with responsibility for the pensioner's welfare as Brighton and Hove City Council.

Judge Lush said the pensioner - a former nurse who was in Egypt during the Second World War - had given permission for her son to be her property and financial affairs attorney nearly three years ago.

But a year ago Brighton and Hove council had expressed concern about the way the man was handling her finances.

An investigation had been carried out and the man had been accused of using her mother's income to "subsidise his lifestyle" and cover costs including car tax plus advertising and business expenses, said Judge Lush.

The man said some money had been used for expenses he had incurred on his mother's behalf.

And he said the investigation stemmed from a dispute he had been having with the NHS and with Brighton and Hove council's social services department regarding assessments of his mother's condition and welfare.

Judge Lush concluded that the pensioner's financial affairs were "in disorder" and he said the man had "behaved in a way that is not in his mother's best interests".

He revoked the man's "power of attorney" and said an independent expert would be appointed to manage the pensioner's finances.

"The facts speak for themselves," said the judge. "Any vestige of integrity is utterly eroded ... by the use of his mother's funds to pay the excise duty on his own vehicle and to advertise his business in various local newspapers. (His) management of his mother's finances has spectacularly backfired."

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