Client's husband rang me about a 71 year old male friend of his. Friend is a (poor) former bankrupt architect and has power of attorney over 94 year old senile mother. Mother's estate less than £325,000 (Nil rate IHT band).
Friend's house about to be repossesed unless he can remortgage or find other funds. Friend thinking of "raiding" senile mother's savings (£120k) because he has power of attorney over her financial affairs.
Advised client's husband I would not give advice and neither should he to friend. But this started me thinking. There will never be any IHT to pay so HMRC have no interest in this case. I mentioned that legally the friend should not be making such a large gift to himself (can someone confirm this - I seem to recollect a case where someone with power of attorney accelerated the rate of gifts and had some type of sanction against him but I cannot remember if it was a tax case or a legal aspect). His justification is that he is merely advancing his inheritance.
If the friend goes ahead and grabs the cash, who is it that takes action against him, in what form and what are the sanctions against the friend for so doing.
Any other helpful comments would be appreciated.