Personal Solicitors Ipswich – Deputies removed by the Court of Protection for making unauthorised gifts

Nick Palmer

‘GM was a 93 year old lady who lacked sufficient mental capacity to manage her own money. As she had not made a power of attorney, two relatives successfully applied to the Court to be her Deputies to administer her financial affairs for her.

However, the two Deputies made unauthorised gifts to themselves, to their families and to charities. The gifts to themselves included cash, cars, computers, expensive jewellery and designer handbags. There are strict rules concerning what gifts a Deputy can make. Any other gifts require the approval of the Court of Protection.

The Deputies sought the Court’s retrospective approval of these gifts. However, the Court only approved gifts totalling £16,000 and ordered the Deputies personally to repay £204,459.74 (thus they were liable to repay cash which had been given to their families). Interestingly, the Court approved all the gifts to charities even though GM had no personal interest in supporting most of these particular charities.

The Court also removed the Deputies so that they no longer had any authority in relation to GM’s money. The Deputies had lost a lot of credibility here when they indicated to the Court that they would stop visiting GM if they were no longer in control of her money!’

Nick Palmer is a personal solicitor at Barker Gotelee, solicitors in Suffolk

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