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  1. #1
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    Sep 2011
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    Power of attorney - how does it work in practice?

    Hello. This is my first post. I'm looking for some practical advice on how enduring p/as (or they may be called lasting p/as) work.

    My mum has vascular dementia. Still lives alone, with a care package. My mum no longer leaves the house independently (although she says (and probably believes!) she does) and for a few months now, the only way to keep her at home has been to buy all her groceries using my mum's bank card. We'd like to get a p/a to put things on a more formal footing.

    We have the forms and understand the legal requirements but wanted some guidance as to how they work in practice. For example is it possible, once a p/a is in place, to withdraw cash or use chip and pin to access my mum's bank account to pay for her groceries? And how does paying her bills work?

    Because my mum already has a diagnosis, we have been advised that she can only have a PA if her GP confirms she is competent to understand what it means. She may fail this test, as we have left this rather late in the day, but we want to try nonetheless, so that she can have a few more months at home as she really doesn't want to go into a care home.
     

  2. #2
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    Aug 2011
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    wales
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    Hi Sparrows,

    I had my POA through for my mother a few months ago. The doctor came out to see her and signed that he felt she had capacity to understand what he was asking her at the time he saw her and that it was in her best interests for me to get the POA in order to help her.

    Dont tell your mother's bank anything until your POA comes through - if they get a whiff that she may not have capacity they will freeze the account.

    The forms are quite easy to fill in and I did them myself.

    Once the POA came through I went to the bank and they photocopied it and put everything in order so that I could legally use the account.

    If she has other accounts in building societies etc you will have to do the same.

    Also make sure the surgery knows that you are carer for your mother so that they can deal with you on her behalf.

    Well worth getting the POA. I am now in the process of dealing with my mothers house & contents as she is in care home and it has made this much easier.

    Good luck.
     

  3. #3
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    Apr 2011
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    Scotland
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    Hi Sparrows - I'm in Scotland so don't know if law varies across UK.Once POA was in place we operated mums bank ac. We paid her utility bills,insurance and social care contribution by direct debit from her ac. We used chip & pin when shopping for her groceries, personal and household items. We withdrew 'cash' amounts for incidentals e.g. window and stair cleaner, papers, petrol and also grandkids xmas cards. When we set up POA mum was already diagnosed AD but still regarded by GP as 'competent' to make the choice. Don't delay because the GP assessment has to be passed to solicitor drawing up POA before it can be approved by 'public gaurdian'. Make sure you have financial and welfare authority. Good luck and hope this helps.X
     

  4. #4
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    Feb 2012
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    Hi Sparrows - I too am in the same boat as you with regards my mum. I have only just sent off the power of attorney forms. However, for the past 6 years I have been using my mum's bank card / chip and pin to get her shopping on a weekly basis plus clothes etc. I recently went into her bank (I am already authorised by them to access her bank - they will set t his up for you). As mum is now having trouble signing her cheques, they suggested I add myself as a joint bank account holder - only for signing cheques which is a good help for me. Not done this yet as I have to take mum to the bank and it is a chore in itself trying to get her out!! Maybe you could consider this as well until the POA makes everything legal.
     

  5. #5
    To complete a power of attorney you do not need to get a GP to confirm she is able to agree. You need to find two people who have known her for a length of time (I think 5 years or more) to certify she can understand. (This might be only one person if you also opt to have someone 'notified' when the POA is registered.)

    The only occasion on which you would need a doctor is if she already completed the form earlier and said that she wanted a professional to determine her capacity before the poa was registered. This does not sound as if this was the case. The only other reason you might want to use a doctor is if she no longer has any friends who could certify the document for her.

    Once you have poa you will be able to do everything with her finances that she can do, except use a card - that was the only thing that seemed difficult to arrange. To pay bills you just send the company a copy of the poa and set up a direct debit in her name.
     

  6. #6
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    Mar 2012
    Location
    Guildford
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    Does anyone know how long it takes for poa to be registered with public guardian? Ours was sent of early March..........?
    Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain
     

  7. #7
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    Feb 2011
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    103
    I had no trouble getting my OWN cheque books and bank card for use with mum's account once I got POA. But ... that might have been because we both bank with Natwest. I told them I had got POA, had to send in forms and ID, then I got issued with my own cheque book and card for mum's account, which just has my name, then POA printed on them.
     

  8. #8
    It took 6 months for my Dads LPA to come through. There's a massive back log and apparently the opg only release papers once a month. The whole systems a joke to be honest. If anyone hasn't applied yet, I suggest you do so. By the time my Dads came through he's already lost all capacity. It's just a good job I didn't leave it any longer. X
    I know what I'm going to do..... I just haven't found out yet!
     

  9. #9
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    Sep 2011
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    20
    Thanks everyone for all these really helpful responses!
     

  10. #10
    Hello Sparrows, welcome to Talking Point. I am sorry to read that your mum has dementia, but pleased you have found TP.

    This AS factsheet re Enduring Power of Attorney and Lasting Powers of Attorney may be of some help to you.

    Very best wishes, please let us know how you get on.
     

  11. #11
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    Mar 2012
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    UK
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    My mum hasn't been diagnosed with dementia yet but as the day goes on, particularly in the evenings she doesn't know where she is. Despite being housebound and barely able to walk to phones me crying that she is stuck in Australia, or on a beach and doesn't know how to get home - the next day she doesn't remember any of it. We are waiting to hear any day of a respite place as my brother who lives with her is becoming ill because he cannot cope with her demands and doesn't sleep all night as he is listening out for her constantly trying to get out of bed. I can't cope with the phone calls. They are so upsetting and then I am awake all night thinking about it. What I am getting at is, although this respite is only meant to be for maybe 6 weeks I am wondering if she will come home again as the problems will still be there. Although she has 4 carers a day now the help is never enough and she is scared to be alone - which is a lot of the time. My brother thinks we should start thinking about POA. I have used her debit card for several years as she can't get out and I use it for the shopping etc. I write out her cheques but she signs them (with increasing difficulty because of her arthritic hands) but the thing that really worries me about being in charge of her money is that I don't understand all the benefits/pensions stuff. She gets certain money paid into her account, and rebates on rent etc but I don't know why or how or if she is even meant to get them anymore. At the moment when I read her post for her I tend to just hope it's ok - but if it says let us know if anything has changed I've been known to tell them what her savings are if they have gone up. She lives in a housing association house and all the jargon they send her are just foreign to me. Things are complicated because my brother lives there. If she did end up staying in a care home, he would obviously still need a house even if they don't want him living in that one (it's too big for him on his own and has been adapted for a disabled person)
     

 

 

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