Case Studies

Nicolas’ & Sarah’s disputed power of attorney case recovered almost £70,000

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Nicolas’ & Sarah’s disputed power of attorney case recovered almost £70,000

Contentious controllership case study

Siblings, Nicolas and Sarah, suspected that significant sums of money had been removed from their father’s bank account, without his authority, over an extended period of time.

Their father was elderly with declining health and another individual close to him previously had been granted an Enduring Power of Attorney. Individuals who have been granted a power of attorney by someone else (the donor) are legally authorised to make decisions on the donor’s property and financial affairs, subject to any restrictions put in place by the donor. These decisions must be in the donor’s best interest.

If Nicolas’ and Sarah’s suspicions were correct, it meant this person was either negligently or dishonestly taking money from the father. As the father lacked the capacity to instruct a solicitor, Nicolas and Sarah, acting as the father’s Controllers, felt obliged to take steps to investigate and possibly recover the missing amount for the benefit of their father.

Enduring Power of Attorney in Northern Ireland

Nicolas and Sarah contacted McCartan Turkington Breen and had the benefit of a free initial consultation with Damian Collins. They instructed Damian, who holds degrees in both law and in economics, and he began a thorough investigation. A detailed review of the father’s many accounts, stretching back several years, was required and a comparative analysis was conducted to highlight any discrepancies in the father’s perceived spending over the relevant period.

Damian examined the circumstances of the suspected beneficiaries of the queried withdrawals. He considered the duties and powers of attorneys and the principles of joint ownership and the presumption of advancement.  He concluded that there was no legal basis for the withdrawal of the father’s money.

Dispute settled without issuing proceedings

The sibling clients, with only their father’s wellbeing in mind, wanted a swift conclusion to this matter and were willing to settle without further recourse. Damian engaged with the person responsible and explained his investigation and his clients’ position. The matter settled without the need to issue proceedings, saving on considerable costs that may not have been recoverable.

Ultimately, a sum of approximately of almost £70,000 was recovered and credited back into the father’s account.

Our private client solicitors can help you too

If you or a loved one require advice relating to a dispute concerning an Enduring Power of Attorney or a Controllership or need advice on putting an Enduring Power of Attorney in place or making a Controllership application, we can help. Learn more about our services at Wills, Probate & Estate Planning or contact us for a free exploratory discussion with an experienced solicitor.


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