A bitter falling out between three brothers in respect of the management of their 93-year-old father’s property and financial affairs necessitated the intervention of the Court of Protection and the making of a stark judicial choice between them.
Brothers A and B had arranged their mother’s admission to a care home, where she died. Brother C, the middle of the three, had not been consulted about the move and had made numerous complaints about her care. He blamed the care home for her death and saw himself as having championed her independence.
Their widowed father, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, was also later placed in a care home by brothers A and B. Brother C continued to fiercely object and an issue arose over which of them should be appointed as their father’s deputy, with responsibility for managing his affairs for his benefit.
All three of the middle-aged brothers had accountancy or bookkeeping backgrounds and were thus well qualified to perform the task. However, in appointing brothers A and B, and rejecting brother C’s candidacy, the Court noted that the former both lived close to the Surrey care home and would be able to visit their father regularly, whereas the latter lived in Yorkshire.
The Court also found that brothers A and B had the ability to interact with carers and others with an interest in their father’s welfare. Brother C, on the other hand, had shown a counter-productive approach and had proved himself to be a ‘compulsive complainer’ with a tendency to become bogged down in minutiae. The Court noted that, in performing their roles as joint deputies, brothers A and B would be subject to close supervision by the Public Guardian.