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Son of former diplomat stripped of responsibility for his father

The son of a former diplomat has had power over his father’s health, welfare, property and finances revoked by the Court of Protection.

In Re GW, the 80 year-old father suffered from an advanced form of Alzheimer’s disease and was placed into a care home in Milton Keynes. After being moved into the care home in December 2011, his son did not visit until June 2014.

Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, if someone is deemed unable to make decisions about their life and care, through illness or disability, they can have those decisions made by others on their behalf. Such a person is given Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

The father, identified as ‘GW’ in the judgment, had previously appointed his son to act on his behalf. However, in October 2014, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) applied for the son’s LPA to be revoked. The OPG is an agency within the Ministry of Justice which focuses on cases involving the Mental Capacity Act.

Under the 2005 Act, anyone with LPA must act in the best interests of the person they have been given power over. The OPG alleged that, not only had the son not visited his father in over 30 months, he had failed to pay GW’s care home bills, which had led to the threat of eviction. They also claimed that the son had not provided his father with a personal allowance.

Senior Judge Lush described the son’s actions as “a catalogue of failures” which “contravenes his authority” as a representative for his father. He added that the failings were “entirely within [the son’s] control”. The judge concluded that he had indeed acted against GW’s best interests and revoked the son’s LPA.

To read the full judgment, click here.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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