My Brother My Enemy
An incredible autobiographical story of how wealth was greedily obtained by a family member through applying an Enduring Power of Attorney in the UK. A campaign to change UK Law was subsequently launched. Click on Read More for details.
Adrienne Nairn was once part of a happy family. But a secret she promised to keep on the wishes of her father on his deathbed was discovered by her brother. That resulted in a protracted, and at times bitter family feud spanning many years. Adrienne thereby found herself in a position many families throughout the world experience with devastating effects compounding grief following the loss of a loved one. In her case it was the sad loss was her father.
Her brother is a former British Army Special Services soldier, trained in psychological warfare. He went on from there to act as a mercenary for the Sultan of Oman. But that didn't stop her from investigating her brother's involvement in what became the bitter family feud.
She uncovered evidence of fraud and possibly criminal action; but only hit a brick wall in trying to deal with authorities in Britain. As part of a cunning plan, her brother had involved the Police and even Interpol using scare tactics in an effort to stop her solicitors investigating, then her as a mere layperson investigating. Battles between herself and her brother ensued, played out throughout the wider family, friends, and several public bodies, as well as a succession of very expensive lawyers, then mediators and Courts in Britain.
Public bodies included social agencies, a number of Police forces, and even Interpol. But looking to the Police or Courts for salvation under these circumstances she found herself in is fraught with great difficulty and unrecoverable expense, particularly if not represented in Court.
Adrienne succeeded in Court however, eventually, representing herself after sacking successive and very expensive solicitors. So she decided to write her autobiography, My Brother My Enemy, to record how a secret resulted in a protracted and bitter family feud. She feels that was necessary, to raise awareness of Elder Abuse, in the main context of vulnerable elderly folk being ripped off by people they trusted to manage their affairs through forms of Power of Attorney.
My Brother My Enemy is also a portrayal of the devastating wedge that can be driven through apparently happy and settled families, when money and power take precedence over values such as common sense and loyalty. But beyond the personal story of two siblings, who became enemies, it should serve as a timely reminder for anyone with parents approaching their twilight years, or those who know or possibly feel they are nearing the end of their lives, that it's wise to seek and obtain reliable legal advice. And that advice should be solicited independently of any future beneficiaries by those who are making binding gestures, particularly relating to inheritance.
Adrienne's autobiographical story is set in the UK. But the bitter family feud problem followed her to New Zealand, where she lives in Taupo, New Zealand with her husband. She has a daughter, who lives with her family in Sydney, Australia. - As such, My Brother My Enemy is an intriguing, unusual and interesting read. Some of her discoveries leading up to Court battles are enlightening; but some are quite horrifying.
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Adrienne is passionate about her subject, Elder Abuse. But what is Elder Abuse?
Physical abuse is quite prevalent, unfortunately; but easy enough to detect through trained eyes and minds. But less easy to detect are psychological and financial abuses. Most of us are quite wise to a con man who persuades an elderly person a job needs doing and then vastly overcharges them; some are not. Many tactics to part a pensioner from their money are more subtle, however, and can and often does involve psychological abuse.
Adrienne's book has a message for almost everyone in all the contexts noted herein this article. She has subsequently given talks in New Zealand to Probus; the National Party, Women's Section; U3A and Hospice and Residential Care Homes. In fact, she is a volunteer with Hospice and Age Concern and was a medallist in the Kiwi Bank New Zealander of the Year Local Heroes Awards. And what she is now trying to do is make people aware of the dangers of not having stringent Statutory Law governing Elder Abuse in the context of Power of Attorney, advocating changes in the UK Statutory Law at least; if not universally where essentially required.
Through her experiences, Adrienne knows there is a call there for an Aged Care Commissioner (Watchdog), for example. This new Aged Care Watchdog should have stringent statutory powers to tackle the rising incidence of financial abuses suffered by vulnerable elderly people.
They should at least be able to investigate complaints of financial abuse of the vulnerable elderly, and to ask the Family Court to intervene if abuse of any legal powers is detected. In particular, they should also have the stringent statutory powers to ask the Family Court to review how a person has managed an Enduring Power of Attorney, as well as how any such Power of Attorney was granted.
Authorities are certainly worried by increasing numbers of elderly people being ripped off. But a major problem exists, certainly in the UK, in the context that when the Police can't intervene, Legal Aid is not available to claimants to cover the costs of any Family Court case. A substantial amount of claimants would rely on such aid, since they wouldn't have the resources to pay costs to recover what was taken from them and or from their deceased relative/s in any rip-off scenario. Such abuse is mainly carried out by adult sons and daughters with a said authority to manage an aged parent's affairs after all. But without such representation, decades of avoidable personal anguish and turmoil can and often does result in bitter family feuds.