Financial abuse from a family member
This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Alison 2 months, 3 weeks ago.
March 8, 2017 at 9:23 am #9311
I believe my mother in law is the victim of financial abuse by my bros in law. My mother in laws mental capacity has declined over the past couple of years but my bros in law has capatilised on this by taking advantage of her by taking thousands of pounds from her and blamed other people for doing it, he has added his name to her bank account so he has access and also gets her weekly pension, but fails to hand it over. When she asks for it he tells her somebody else has taken it. We have confronted him over the matter and gained proof of what he is doing (e.g. A cheque for payment of his new car) but his reply is she can do what she wants with her money. He is using the fact she soon forgets to his advantage. We have tried contacting police (told it’s a civil matter), the doctors to get her mental capacity assessed (he insisted on being present and so she passed her assessment), adult services have been contacted (he persuaded her to decline any intervention), we have gone down power of attorney route (again for him to scupper it by persuading her to not act). In the meantime he continues to fleece her, and I believe he is trying to get control of her property now. My mother in law regularly asks where all her money has gone and why she has no pension (he has now started to get it paid into her bank account which he has taken control of), we have tried to explain to her what’s going on but her son can do no wrong. It is causing real problems within our family and the mother in law is the one suffering the most. Any advice would be much appreciated
March 8, 2017 at 9:27 am #11437
Action on Elder AbuseKeymaster
We are really sorry to hear about this, it is the kind of situation we hear about far too often.
It seems you have already taken sensible steps in trying to sort this out. Unfortunately, the police and safeguarding are unlikely to act unless there is evidence to prove coercion or your mother-in-law is assessed as lacking capacity. The only further suggestion we can make at this time is for you to seek legal advice on how to challenge your brother’s actions. We regularly refer people to Solicitors for the Elderly who are an association of lawyers who specialise in dealing with matters for over-65s, such as financial abuse. We suggest giving them a call on 0844 567 6173. They are usually able to offer preliminary consultation for free.
We sincerely hope you are able to resolve this as soon as possible.
April 21, 2017 at 2:07 pm #13162
I have a similar situation with my mother and my eldest sister who has been supported by the family all of her life. She is now 60. My mother is 81 and has had a big stroke so needs money for her care. She is currently in a care home but naturally wants to go home. My sister continues to put pressure on her for money (saying her children are ill, she will be destitute etc, so that Mum feels sorry for her). She has moved into my mother’s house (from abroad) and she won’t now move out. My mother is paying her expenses as well as giving her a regular income (last year it was more than £24,000). The issue of consent is scuppering our options because Mum is considered to have capacity but can’t say no to the sister (and has said so: “She is fine as long as you give in”) so, in effect, she is giving consent even though she is being manipulated to do so. My sister is pushing for mum to go home soon and for her to be her carer. We are trying to resist this as we feel she will then have unrestricted access to Mum and her money and property – without the safeguards that the care home currently provide. The home, incidentally, alerted us to the possibility of the sister coercing Mum and the staff go into the room just to try to stop the haranguing conversations. Mum has said to us other sisters that she doesn’t want any of us to be carers but for us to share visits when she goes home and to have a professional carer looking after her. Is there any way we can get the sister out of the house? She refuses to discuss it with us.
April 21, 2017 at 2:08 pm #13352
Action on Elder AbuseKeymaster
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to override the consent of an adult with capacity to make their own decisions. It is likely that Adult Social Services will only be able to override your mother’s consent with irrefutable evidence of your sister’s coercive behaviour, or with your mother’s acknowledgement of her behaviour. You may consider seeking legal advice to help you establish what could be used as evidence, and how to obtain it.
April 27, 2017 at 9:46 am #13921
My father was diagnosed with dementia in the summer of 2011 having been ill for some years prior to the diagnosis. He was on medication for the condition from that time. I discovered the systematic financial abuse of my parents and my father in particular by my brother in May 2014. I was visiting my elderly parents on a Friday afternoon when the family solicitor arrived at the house with some documents and Deeds for my parents to sign! After months of trying to unravel what had happened to my dear dad since the abuse started in 2010, the following was discovered :-
My father lost the majority of his investments approximately £ 80,000 (bonds encashed).
He was driven to the family solicitor ( who was aware of the dementia) by my brother in October 2013 where a new will was executed and the first of two Land & Property Transfer Deeds was signed. My parents owned a 250 acre farm in Devon.
A bank loan was advanced for £ 60,000 in my parents names in August 2015 ( they were aged 87 and 82 at the time !). They were not present at the meeting with the bank manager, my father was actually residing in a care home with severe dementia at the time.
So far I have spent £ 25,000 in legal fees over the past three years trying to unravel the financial mess and trying to get my parents assets restored to them, all to no avail because the Office of the Public Guardian and the Financial Ombudsman have decided not to take any action against my brother and the unscrupulous solicitor. The financial abuse/ fraud has been dismissed as a family dispute by the OPG, who failed to investigate the case properly. In regard to the bank loan of £ 60,000 the Financial Ombudsman ” could not investigate the case without the consent of all the partners in the farming business” ( including the abuser ).
Action Fraud were really helpful and a file for investigation was sent to Devon & Cornwall Police in a matter of days. Unfortunately the Detective Sergeant at the particular station decided not to investigate the case as and I quote his words “these fraud cases create a lot of paperwork and take up a lot of man hours”. The police officer refused to see me or look at the evidence that my solicitor and I had gathered. I have now formally complained to the Devon & Cornwall Police Commissioner about what happened.
Sadly my dear father passed away in October of last year and my only comfort is that he was totally unaware of the financial abuse he had suffered. He would have been heartbroken to discover that because of my brother’s actions our family has been ripped apart by this. We had been a really close loving family or so I thought.
So I wish Alan and Kate (the other contributors) lots of luck in their endeavours and I hope that there is a more favourable outcome for their relatives.