Fentons expert steps in to help pensioner with dementia

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Fentons expert steps in to help pensioner with dementia

8th April 2012

An expert in Court of Protection matters has come to the aid of a pensioner at the centre of a row between social services and the friend they had accused of failing in his duties as her attorney.

Natasha Molloy, head of the Court of Protection department with Fentons Solicitors LLP, was contacted by the woman’s friend after he was referred to her by another solicitor. “He told me how he had been a close friend of the elderly lady for many years,” said Natasha. “The woman is a widow with no children, and before she was diagnosed with dementia she had appointed him under a Lasting Power of Attorney to oversee her finances and well-being.”

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document which allows someone to give legal rights to a person to manage their financial affairs and make health and welfare decisions on their behalf, should they become incapable of making those decisions for themselves.

“He was very upset because the local council’s social services department suspected that he was abusing his position as my client’s attorney, effectively accusing him of financial mismanagement,” she said. The council took the extreme step of reporting the client’s attorney to the Office of the Public Guardian – the government body which oversees all Power of Attorney cases.

“The council asked the OPG to remove him as her attorney and have themselves appointed in his place,” said Natasha. “But after speaking with my elderly client and her friend, I made a counter-application to be appointed as the deputy to oversee all decisions relating to her finances and well-being.”

The court duly appointed Natasha as the deputy after her client’s friend voluntarily stood down from the position.
“As soon as I was appointed I began to look into the various claims being made by social services about my client’s friend and his actions as her attorney,” said Natasha. “The council had begun a ‘Protection of Vulnerable Adults’ investigation and I was involved in that, looking into all previous decisions that had been made concerning my client since the onset of her dementia – not just financial ones.

“My investigation was able to disprove all of the social services’ claims about my client’s former attorney, as we identified where finances had been placed for security and every penny was accounted for,” she said. “This obviously came as a great relief for my client and her friend, who were then able to continue their friendship without any need for worry or suspicion.”

After being appointed deputy for the client, Natasha and her team of experts are now working closely with the social services department to make changes to the clients’ care plan, including organising visits from an occupational therapist and arranging for specialist equipment to be installed at her home in Wales.

“There is now a much better relationship between all the parties, which means my client is now getting a better standard of care and is much happier,” said Natasha.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in advising on all matters relating to the Court of Protection, including Powers of Attorney and acting as a professional deputy.

If you would like further information about any of the issues featured above, or to discuss your own circumstances, please contact Natasha Molloy on 0845 026 4749 or e-mail natasha.molloy@fentons.co.uk.