Case Study 1

Concern raised by a local authority

Initial concern - key points

  • Adult resident in local authority care home setting
  • Adult's daughter appointed as her attorney
  • Attorney did not engage with local authority social work department so no financial assessment carried out
  • Adult believed to own heritable property so assessed as self-funding
  • Limited level of care costs paid initially but this stopped, incurring considerable build-up of debt

Parties contacted

  • Adult’s GP
  • Care home manager
  • Adult's bank
  • The Registers of Scotland
  • Department of Work and Pensions
  • Local authority social work department
  • Adult's attorney

Information ascertained

  • Adult confirmed as being incapable of dealing with his financial affairs
  • Adult has resided in care home since early 2013
  • Care home advised local authority of non-payment of care costs in early 2014
  • On-going costs now being paid for by local authority
  • Registers of Scotland confirmed adult owns heritable property so confirmed adult will be self-funding
  • Adult's bank provided bank statements to establish pattern of expenditure. Examination showed a pattern of expenditure which did not seem appropriate for an adult resident in a care home, e.g. road tax for car, petrol at various locations throughout Scotland, bank charges for account being in overdraft, regular cash withdrawals etc.
  • Subject contacted and asked to provide an accounting which she did. This, however, provided more questions rather than answers. Subject advised that care costs would be paid when the heritable property was sold although she was in no hurry to sell the adult's house
  • Safeguards on adult's account put in place by the bank at our request
  • Attempts to engage further with the subject met with her failure to co-operate
  • Local authority are now corporate appointees to receive his benefits and allowances
  • The have taken over interim funding, placed a charging order on the adult's heritable property

Our view

The attorney did not appear to be acting in the best interests of the adult and was not co-operating with us, consequently she was asked to resign which she refused to do.

We reported the matter to the Sheriff for removal of the attorney in terms of section 20 of the AWI legislation but in the interim period the attorney resigned.

The local authority continues to act as corporate appointee for the adult to make his personal allowance available. They are paying the care home costs which will be reimbursed through the charging order on the heritable property when the adult passes away. Should they wish to intervene earlier they would require to make an application to the court for an intervention order to deal with the sale of the property and disbursement of the net free proceeds.

The investigation has now concluded.