Wednesday, December 14, 2011

POA-Holding Woman Said To Have Known Or Wilfully Closed Eyes To Dementia-Suffering Senior's Capacity In Misusing Loot From $2.25M Sale Of Property

In Brisbane, Australia, The Courier Mail reports:

  • A LOGAN City Council councillor has admitted she knew a dementia patient did not have the legal capacity to know what was happening when she transferred a "vast amount" of money out of their joint account into her own.

  • However, Hanjal Black said that, although she made the admission, she was carrying out the long held wishes of the 66-year-old man in a manner he had made it clear for a decade he wanted her to act.

  • In the Supreme Court in Brisbane, the Public Trustee of Queensland had asked for a summary judgment declaring the money should have been held on trust by Mrs Black for the elderly man because he lacked capacity to administer it.

  • Mrs Black had power of attorney for the man from April 2009 but it has since been suspended. The court heard in a legal document in which admissions were made, Mrs Black admitted she knew the man lacked necessary capacity at the time of the transfer of money on October 28, 2009.

  • David Jackson, QC, for the trustee, submitted that because of Mrs Black's admission and the manner in which she acted the trustee should get the summary declaration. The trustee believed Mrs Black knew or wilfully closed her eyes to the capacity of the man at the time of the transaction.

  • Mrs Black, who represented herself after her previous lawyers withdrew, argued there were issues which should be determined by a full hearing of evidence and cross-examination.

  • The Public Trustee has alleged Mrs Black misused funds from the $2.25 million sale of the man's property at Park Ridge. She has also lodged a civil matter counter-claim against the Public Trustee, seeking the man's home at Greenbank be signed over to her.

  • It is alleged Mrs Black and the elderly man established a joint bank account where the money was eventually placed, and it is also alleged she then transferred most of it into her own account.

  • In the Supreme Court [], Mr Jackson said the Public Trustee argued the transfer of the money had been a "conflict transaction". He said the trustee was not saying the man lacked capacity when giving power of attorney in April 2009, but rather it was about the man's capacity at October 2009 when the transaction was made.

  • Mrs Black told the court she had been like a daughter to the man and her family was the only family he had. She said she had acted in a manner which the man had made clear he wished her to undertake over a decade.

For more, see Hajnal Black admits elderly friend did not fully understand transfer of $1.5m into her account.

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