Posted by Deanna Hurst, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
Son’s campaign to change Power of Attorney laws
A man whose late mother was swindled out of a substantial sum of money this month sat down with the Attorney General to discuss the possibility of bolstering the protection afforded to those who have lost mental capacity. Barbara Lewis, …
A man whose late mother was swindled out of a substantial sum of money this month sat down with the Attorney General to discuss the possibility of bolstering the protection afforded to those who have lost mental capacity.
Barbara Lewis, who lived in the West Midlands, had entrusted her close friend Margaret Rigby with Power of Attorney. However, after Mrs Lewis developed dementia, her friend helped herself to £57,000 – with the cash being blown on a raft of luxuries.
Mrs Rigby and two of her relations were subsequently given suspended sentences last year and have been ordered to repay around a quarter of the money – having splashed out on cars, holidays and meals.
Following the offences, Mrs Lewis’ son Nick has launched a campaign calling for a change in the law.
He believes it is important that greater safeguards are put in place to protect the assets of those who have handed control of their finances to someone else.
Travelling to Westminster, he met his own MP – and Attorney General – Jeremy Wright and Justice Minister Caroline Dineage. During the discussion he had the chance to raise concerns about what he perceives to be failings in the current system and to argue the case for reform.
Mr Lewis argues that those who receive Power of Attorney should face far stricter supervision, including a requirement to present accounts, receipts and other relevant documents at regular intervals.
He believes that these checks would make it considerably more difficult for people to misappropriate funds.
“I am seeking to ensure that what happened to my mum doesn’t happen to others,” he said.
“There need to be measures to prevent this from happening again, not just guidelines which are open to abuse.”
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