Here’s a Twist

Any practitioner in the area of estates law will know that there is no end to the disputes that arise between family members in connection with the administration of an estate or how an elderly parent should be cared for.  With respect to attorneys or committees for property and/or personal care of an aging parent, the disputes tend to be about the inappropriate or excessive use of funds entrusted to the attorney, usually for personal reasons, and possibly linked to neglect of the needs of the parent.  That is why a recent Manitoba case caught my eye – for another reason.

A dispute arose between siblings as to which should be named as committee of the property and personal care of their mother, who was found by the Court to suffer from mental incapacity.  One sibling had been named as attorney in a power of attorney executed by the mother and had been dealing with the mother’s care and finances for several years.  Her sister brought an application to have herself appointed as committee in place of the attorney.   The case is interesting because one of the grounds alleged for removing the attorney was that she had improperly dealt with the mother’s finances, not by diverting funds or speding extravagantly, but by not spending enough.  The opposing sister took the position that because the mother’s bank account showed little activity, such was evidence that the attorney was neglecting her mother’s needs.  The attorney’s evidence was that she had paid for several of her mother’s needs from her own funds, for which she was not seeking reimbursement.  The Court did not buy the opposing sister’s argument.

Seems like a case of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”.

Parker Bruederlin v. Parker

One Comment to “Here’s a Twist”

  1. You would be amazed at how this elderly Mom’s rights were violated. Maybe if you knew the whole story, you would not so be quick to take a side.

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