Man wins control over mother’s finances from council

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A pensioner has been granted control over his mother’s finances after he accused East Sussex County Council of not doing enough to help her.

The woman, in her 90s, from the Haywards Heath area, suffers from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and lives in a care home.

However, she is a wealthy woman owning two East Sussex properties worth at least £500,000.

Since December 2013, it has been the county council’s job to act as her legal “deputy” and make decisions for her which she can no longer make for herself.

However, one of her sons said he was unhappy with the council’s performance and took the case to the Court of Protection, in London.

He accused the council of being “quite disorganised” and “not very co-operative” in handling his mum’s affairs for her.

He was particularly concerned that essential repairs and maintenance work were not being done on one of his mum’s properties.

The house was getting damp from a leak in the roof and, if properly renovated, it could be worth much more, he said.

The son had offered to share the burden of looking after his mum’s affairs with the council, but was told that was against its policy.

Judge Denzil Lush said the council had “refused point blank” to accept the joint deputyship proposal.

Council lawyers said there was a possible “conflict” between the woman’s best interests and those of her son.

But the judge effectively sacked the council from its role as deputy and appointed the son in its place.

Mr Lush laid down a series of tight conditions to ensure that the son only ever acts for the benefit of his mother.