Protecting a Mother’s Assets

Our Elderly, Care & Mental Capacity team act as Court of Protection Deputy for a client who can no longer deal with her own financial affairs. It is a sad case and the client concerned has a long history of depression and has had significant mental health difficulties over the course of the last few years. We became aware that at some stage she had been financially and physically abused by her alcoholic son who had effectively defrauded her of all of her savings by forging her signature on her cheques. Whilst living with her son, the house that belonged to our client was not maintained and she was living in squalor.

Following intervention from social services, our client was sadly sectioned under the Mental Health Act and was moved permanently into a local care home. We made an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as the Deputy for Property and Financial affairs so that we could try to sort out the financial situation of our client. Her son had continued to remain in her property, effectively squatting there as he would not pay rent.

We took counsel’s opinion on whether it would be in our client’s best interests for the deputy to evict the son, as although from a purely legal perspective he had no right to be there, her expressed wish when she had capacity was for her son to remain living in the property. Following negotiations with the son and by working together with social services, the son has now agreed to move out into rented accommodation which was more suitable for his needs and we are now in the process of selling the client’s property in order that we can work towards restoring her financial position for her future needs.