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Legal Eagle Q & A: Families and money can always be a tricky one but when it comes to it, who has authority?
Question: I am worried about the way my sister is dealing with my mum’s money. Mum is elderly and has dementia. My sister is her attorney but does this mean she can do what she likes with mum’s bank account?
Answer: The role of attorney carries with it serious financial obligations because it is a position of trust. Your sister must only use your mother’s funds for your mother’s benefit, and she must keep accounts of what she is spending, and for what purpose. There are potential civil and criminal penalties which your sister may face if she breaches her duties as an attorney.
This Q & A is by Melinda Giles at Giles Wilson Solicitors.