Woman fails to block brothers handling mother's finances
Published 04/03/2016 | 02:30
A woman has failed in a High Court bid to block two of her brothers having power of attorney over their elderly mother's financial affairs.
Mr Justice Seamus Noonan said there was "powerful evidence" of the mother saying she wanted the sons to look after her affairs.
The sister's evidence fell "well short" of discharging that burden of proof, he said.
The mother, in her 80s, has dementia but her GP was satisfied while she could not manage her financial affairs, she had sufficient capacity to say who had power of attorney, the judge said.
The sister brought the objection claiming, among other things, one of the brothers planned to falsify an application for a subsidy for their mother's nursing home costs under Fair Deal.
By stating the mother's savings were only €28,000 - rather than the near €100,000 they actually were - the mother would have got a higher subsidy than the €340 per week she eventually got towards her €1,500 weekly nursing home bill.
However, the sister told her brother this was illegal and put in her own application under the Fair Deal which was accepted and resulted in the €340 subsidy.
Mr Justice Noonan was satisfied all three siblings only had the best interests of their mother at heart.
The brothers never did submit a false Fair Deal application once they received professional advice on the matter, he said.
They had proposed submitting an application with reduced savings on the advice of a healthcare professional, he said.
The sister was also concerned the mother's savings would soon be depleted because she was paying €1,160 per week for the nursing home while one of the sons had moved into the family home since and was living there rent free.
The judge was satisfied the son was prepared to make €950 available for his mother's nursing home costs.
The judge hoped the siblings could now put differences behind them because, if not, it would be detrimental to their mother.
He said both sides should pay their own costs of the case "in the hope they will do their best to get on".