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Picking Between Siblings

When appointing a Deputy, more often than not the Court will have a relatively simple job because the family will usually be in agreement over who should be appointed, whether that be a professional or a family member. On some occasions though more there may be disagreement, such as in the case of Re ME, reported very recently (link here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCOP/2015/61.html) which relates to a Deputyship for a lady referred to as Margaret.

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In brief, the Court ultimately had to decide which of Margaret’s children should be appointed as Deputy. When selecting the most appropriate appointment, the Court must consider a number of factors as well as the facts of the individual case – for instance, a property abroad may mean one sibling could be in a better position than others to deal with that property. When siblings can cooperate this will not usually be a problem but where the relationship has broken down this would be a relevant factor in making the decision.

Sibling Dispute

In this case, which involved a property in Spain and a sibling dispute, there was a suitable sibling to appoint and the appointment of a professional Deputy was not required, although in certain circumstances this may be the solution to disputes amongst family members.

One of Margaret’s daughters was willing and able to act, had completed a satisfactory Deputy’s declaration, lived nearby her mother in England and could visit her regularly but also had her own property in Spain and also visited that regularly, was on good terms with all but one of her siblings as well as the management and staff at the care home, was not aggressive nor confrontational but at the same time had the strength of character to stand no nonsense, was happy to act without charge, and the judge believed she had her mother’s best interests at heart. This was the sibling appointed by the Court.