June 24, 2016

Son goes to Parliament to demand power of attorney changes

Nick Lewis’s late mother Barbara, who suffered from dementia, entrusted her ‘friend of 40 years’, Margaret Rigby, with her money to spend on Mrs Lewis’s care and well-being.

But the former Cub Scout Leader used £60,000 of savings to fund a lavish lifestyle for herself and her family instead – which included cars, a caravan, and expensive concert tickets.

Rigby, her son-in-law Allan Macdonald and her daughter Jayne Macdonald, were convicted in September last year, and received suspended sentences.

The trio were also ordered to repay approximately a quarter of the money.

Following the case, Mr Lewis has now met with Justice Minister Caroline Dineage and civil servants in Parliament to discuss a potential legislation change.

He was joined at a meeting by his Kenilworth, Warwickshire, MP Jeremy Wright – who is also the Attorney General.

Mr Lewis said: “I am seeking to ensure that what happened to my mum doesn’t happen to others.

“I was supported by Mr Wright in the meeting. There need to be measures to prevent this from happening again, not just guidelines which are open to abuse.”

Mr Lewis wants the Government to implement changes requiring anyone with power of attorney to present a set of accounts to an appointed inspector – along with supporting receipts and other documents.

He said that such an annual review of his mother’s outgoings ‘would have shown the fraud’.

For legal advice on powers of attorney please contact Tony Millson and Deanna Hurst in Royds’ Private Client team.

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