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  1. #1
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    Any advantage in replacing the old-style EPA with a LPA?

    Hi

    Just wondering if anyone has an opinion on updating the old style POA with the new style POA, or just has some general advice on getting involved with someone else's finances?

    My dad was recently diagnosed with dementia. Being an organised person, he drew up an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) about 10 years ago naming me as the attorney "in case it was ever needed".

    I've never actually used the thing but it was registered at the time (the Registers of Scotland agency holds a copy). Now that he has dementia I know we need to think about the future including POA.

    The EPA covers his finances and I know there are now two types of POA, one for money and one for health.

    My question is, is there any advantage to drawing up the new style POA for finances when an old-style EPA is already set up? I know I could ask a solicitor but they may be biased toward doing unnecessary work to increase their fees :-)

    Also I have another question - have you any advice for dealing with someone else's finances? Realistically, he would struggle to deal with his finances if it weren't for his pensions being paid directly to the account and bills being paid by direct debit. I expect I should keep records of anything I do, but he is still withdrawing and spending money himself at the moment (he has a card that he uses at the bank counter) so I wouldn't know everything that's happening.

    As an aside, following a lengthy and unproductive phone call with DWP my dad wants me to be set up as an appointee to deal with his state pension. Also a member of staff at his bank (who has known him for years) suggested that he add me to the account as it would be easier if e.g. the bank need to phone and check something. The bank teller said she did this for her mum and operated it as if it were just her mum's account although it was officially a joint account. I can see the advantage of me being able phone the bank if needed (like if he lost his card and it needed to be cancelled) but am a bit dubious about it being a joint account in case it's seen as taking advantage somehow. (The bank teller showed us both a statement and for some months my dad had been regularly withdrawing the max daily amount from the ATM several times a week but has no idea what he spent it on - its probably in the kettle for safekeeping though.)

    I suspect there is no easy answer.

  2. #2
    I can't speak to the "better to have an LPA rather than and EPA" issue, because I didn't think they were the same in Scotland - I thought there was already a welfare aspect to the scottish version?

    However, I became what is called a third party on my mother's bank accounts. This didn't make them joint, but I was able to do practically everything that the account holder could do (with the exception, with her specific bank, of being able officially to do online banking) -sign cheques, set up direct debits, transfer money etc.
    Jennifer

    Volunteer moderator and former long distance carer.

    “A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.”

    Abraham J. Heschel

  3. #3
    You're right, Jennifer. They're not the same in Scotland.

    Katie, the EPA is fine as regards finances.

    However, you say it was drawn up 10 years ago, and I suspect this was before the Welfare EPA was introduced. If that's the case, it might be an idea for you to have one drawn up and registered. It is of value when decisions have to be made regarding medical treatment, residential care, etc.

    We drew up them both in 2002, and I think the Welfare EPA was fairly new, so it's worth checking. It's a separate document in Scotland.


    Hazel
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    Don't grieve for what you have lost, rejoice for what you have had.

  4. #4
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    Katie123,

    I know little of the law in Scotland, (apart from the fact that I was told by a Scotland-based insurance company that they don’t recognise an English will) so anything I say about my own experience of the matters you are wondering about is based on English law, and on my own experience.

    So where you say the EPA was “registered” at the time it was drawn up, 10 years ago, in Scotland .... I can’t comment on that one, because if that was the case, then the law in Scotland must be very different. Do you need to register EPA in advance of the need to declare that the donor is no longer able to manage ‘things’? In Scotland.

    Being the Appointee as far as the DWP is concerned meant that I could apply for Pension Credit, for Attendance Allowance, for Council Tax benefit, and for any other benefit(s) that may/may not have been available. It also meant that the pension and all other benefits could be paid into a bank account of my choice – not my own bank account, but a bank account that I set up to receive those benefits. Or even to leave those payments going to the ‘original bank account’.

    Becoming a Third Party to the original bank account allowed me to arrange direct debits, standing orders or even ... to clean out the account, if that would have been my chosen move. So that Third Party can/should only be set up if your Dad is still aware of the powers that a Third Party to any bank account has. If he was only recently diagnosed, as you say, then that may be possible still, and I would recommend it.

    Becoming a Third Party (as I understand it in England) does not turn the account into a joint account. Almost but not quite. For example, if you were to become a Third Party to your Dad’s bank account, and then he were to die a month, say, after that came into being, then the money still in that bank account would be deemed to be your Dad’s. However, with a joint account (as I understand it to be in England), on your Dad’s death, then 50% of the money in that account would be deemed to belong to you. Law in Scotland may be different, of course.

    As 3rd party to the bank account you can arrange for all statements to be sent to you, for all phone calls to be directed to you, for any problem with the account to be directed to you and sorted by you. In other words, you take over all the hassles of the bank account mangement.

    Anything “in the kettle for safekeeping” may still be there, as long as your Dad retains the ability to withdraw cash!

    Just don’t put the kettle on, Katie! Don’t boil that kettle!

    .

  5. #5
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    Hi and thanks for all your replies,

    Yes in Scotland the EPA is called a CPA - continuing power of attorney - meaning that unless specified otherwise, it continues if the person becomes mentally incapacitated. My dad got his document drawn up just before the rules changed in Scotland (in 2001) so it just covers money, not health.

    Part of the reason I wondered if we should set up the new style POA was because I thought it may be more familiar to the banks and other organisations I'd have to show it to, but since different parts of the UK have different names for the POA depending on where and when it was drawn up... and this is supposed to make life easier! :-)

    Getting a welfare POA seems sensible. My dad has been happy for me to attend medical appointments with him so his GP and memory clinic staff talk to me about his condition without the POA.

    To be honest, I am probably reluctant to setup / use the POA and access to his bank account as it means facing up to the inevitable - he will likely become less capable over time.

    The DWP appointee conversation was difficult enough - I was trying to be careful not to influence his decision about whether to set it up but all he could think of was "excellent, so someone else deals with the forms and correspondence, why wouldn't I want it?" Well when you put it like that :-)
    Last edited by katie123; 24-06-2009 at 07:34 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie123 View Post
    Hi

    Yes in Scotland the EPA is called a CPA - continuing power of attorney - meaning that unless specified otherwise, it continues if the person becomes mentally incapacitated.

    ....


    The DWP appointee conversation was difficult enough - I was trying to be careful not to influence his decision about whether to set it up but all he could think of was "excellent, so someone else deals with the forms and correspondence, why wouldn't I want it?" Well when you put it like that :-)
    Katie123,

    Thank you ... I have never before heard mention of CPA! Learning curve here!

    And that is all the DWP appointee scheme is intended to do: to remove from a person living in a 'challenged situation' the need to deal with all that form-filling.

    When he put it like that, he understood!

    And if you were to explain the Welfare EPA/POA/LPA or whatever it is called in Scotland, then chances are he would say the same.

    Go for it.

    It doesn't only take away from your Dad the problems of dealing with it all today, it takes away from you the problems of dealing with it all tomorrow. Which you will have to do in any case.

    And as he becomes less able to handle it all, then so will you too become less able to handle it all perhaps.




    .

    .

  7. #7
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    JPG1

    I cross-posted, but to confirm yes the law in Scotland on POAs does seem different. In my dad's case he set up the POA because he was travelling abroad a bit; the POA was valid immediately even when he could manage his own affairs, and it could be set up so that it may or may not continue if he became incapable of running his own affairs (I know this sounds odd but continuing powers of attorney can expire when people become mentally incapacitated.) Also I believe the registration fee was just to double-check that the document was legally ok (as some folk may draw up a DIY document so best to know upfront if it's legal.) The registration fee was minimal, not the £100+ it is now.


    The third party access to his bank account seems like a good option - probably easier than saying "I have a POA" to the bank staff.

    I'm off to have a look for that kettle now :-)

  8. #8
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    If you go to the Court of Protection's website there is a customer phone number you can ring for informaiton.

    It was my understanding that the older form of document enabled you just take over from the person and do what you thought was best in terms of running their life - I accept this may be a very simple view. I was also told that many of the local lawyers round here didn't like the new LPA/COP and so were using the old forms but backdating them!

    There are two types of LPA, Finanace and Welfare and you can only act in accordance with which one you have signed and approved. The new version means that you can only do those actions which the person cannot do for themselves at that time, so if they show any capacity you should let them do whatever it is, if not you can take over. If there health goes up and down you should keep this in mind and always keep records of what you do in case you are challenged. I'm told the new document is more powerful, but I don't know how the old one worked.

    You can download all the booklets and forms from the COP site and it's quite straightforward to fill out, but if you make even the smallest mistake the form gets rejected and you have to start again! It takes weeks and weeks and they will probably lose the form! That's what happened to me!
    Last edited by Helen008; 24-06-2009 at 09:55 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Helen008 View Post
    If you go to the Court of Protection's website there is a customer phone number you can ring for informaiton.

    It was my understanding that the older form of document enabled you just take over from the person and do what you thought was best in terms of running their life - I accept this may be a very simple view. I was also told that many of the local lawyers round here didn't like the new LPA/COP and so were using the old forms but backdating them!

    There are two types of LPA, Finanace and Welfare and you can only act in accordance with which one you have signed and approved. The new version means that you can only do those actions which the person cannot do for themselves at that time, so if they show any capacity you should let them do whatever it is, if not you can take over. If there health goes up and down you should keep this in mind and always keep records of what you do in case you are challenged. I'm told the new document is more powerful, but I don't know how the old one worked.

    You can download all the booklets and forms from the COP site and it's quite straightforward to fill out, but if you make even the smallest mistake the form gets rejected and you have to start again! It takes weeks and weeks and they will probably lose the form! That's what happened to me!
    Umm - I'm not sure all of this is true for Scotland. And that thing about the solicitors? If true they should be struck off (and will be if found out). Very scary.
    Jennifer

    Volunteer moderator and former long distance carer.

    “A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.”

    Abraham J. Heschel

  10. #10
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    Thanks again for all your advice.

    I found a lot of info on the internet from around the time the POA changes were made and there are lots of articles written by lawyers advising people to take out an old-style POA before the new rules come in.

    Thew point about the new LPA only authorising the attorney to act only when the person is incapacitated must be a difficult one as it seems that many people with dementia have fluctuating abilities.

    My dad certainly has ups and downs, just today he started a conversation about politics and mentioned a few politicians by name along with who'd done what and who'd recently been in the news, but then couldn't find the kitchen and wandered from one room to the other (including the kitchen) saying "kitchen? kitchen?"

    I do wonder how people coped before the internet was around for us to find the info we need.

  11. #11
    katie, jennifer's right, the law in Scotland hasn't changed, so all the info from English legal sites is irrelevant to you.

    You can still apply for the welfare POA, and I'd strongly recommend that you do.

    Alzheimer Scotland site has info on this:

    http://www.alzscot.org/pages/info/mandleg3.htm

    You're also right that both POAs are registered straight away in Scotland, ours were.


    Hazel
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    Don't grieve for what you have lost, rejoice for what you have had.

  12. #12
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    The LPA fluctuating abilities bit is worrying as if a person has a stroke they may at first be very bad and very confused, and but then make a good recovery a year or so later, by which time their LPA could have done something they don't agree with (like sell their house to pay for care home fees) thinking that they would never get better. I believe there is some level of protection built in to the document, but it does make things very complicated if people get better or worse or have strange or impractical ideas about what they want to do with regards to their living arrangements or their money, which in law you have to follow once they have expressed their wish otherwise I guess the CoP could come after you.

  13. #13
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    Unhappy

    Hi Katie 123
    Phew I am worn out just reading the replies you had so good luck on this, if you get any more excellent advice please pass back on. I am in a quandry about all this myself and trying hard to find the answers on what I need to do. Helen008 your advice and knowledge is brilliant. Wish someone would just tell me what I will need. EPA LPA POA......Ughhhhh HELP PLEASE! My uncle has asked me to get something sorted for him, he is old and life is now starting to worry him, BUT what should I advise him (and myself to do!!!) I have his will writer setting one up for him but we have to decide which, and even if we will need it at all???? Is one or all really necessary - I am still in a total fog about it all, have even spoken to solicitors and your right they wanted to go around the world and back again and charge a small fortune for doing so. Why is paperwork never ever easy - any clear easy advise on this would I think help a ton of people, I have read all the fact sheets up and still its all double dutch. Sorry Katie plundered on a bit hope it helps get things clearer for you too.
    Starshine x

  14. #14
    Starshine - your only option is the LPA (AKA Lasting Power of Attorney). POA is just an acronym for power of attorney and inexact, and LPA is the old version. All that can be drawn up now is an LPA. Assuming you are NOT in Scotland there are 2 types: a financial one (to allow someone to manage someone's finances) and a welfare one (to allow input into welfare decisions). I would say your uncle needs both (but at the bare minimum the financial one). And yes, absolutely you should arrange this now.
    Jennifer

    Volunteer moderator and former long distance carer.

    “A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.”

    Abraham J. Heschel

  15. #15
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    Smile

    BRILLIANT
    Thanks Jennifer, sounds all so simple when everyone knows everything about it all, but it really is daunting having to get involved so soon after losing MIL I had been scared to try and take over too much, and become too involved. But Uncle has asked for help, and he means the world to us we want to do the best for him, we already have some say with his bank, so maybe I will only need the Welfare side, presumably they charge double if you need both Welfare and Financial, I spoke to the Solictors with Uncle and the costs put him off totally, so expensive, he said no point, and is now still unhappy about not getting things in order.
    Many thanks for your great advice ON EVERYTHING.
    Starshine x

 

 

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