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Advice on power of attorney

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by NIK51, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. NIK51

    NIK51 Registered User

    Oct 31, 2015
    I'm in a real quandary.

    When mum was diagnosed at the end of last year the doctor recommended getting a PoA against the time it might be needed. Unfortunately I have a 'ghost' sibling who does flap all to support mum (even forgot her birthday this week). The minute I mentioned this to her - as I understood was required - she was on it like a starving lion after a gazelle. 'We can both do it'. Since then she's done nothing to be of any practical help.

    The thing is that mum has told me several times that she doesn't want my sister to act for her. I have tried to explain why this isn't a great idea and if she really wants to exclude my sister I can't be the one to tell her. I just know there's going to be an explosion and I will be blamed.

    What should I do? I have tried to persuade her to include us both but she's not going to do that nor is she keen to tell my sister herself.

    Any advice would be much appreciated
  2. Sarahdun

    Sarahdun Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    I am not an expert but I have set up LPOA twice and I would have thought it was entirely up to your Mum - legally - who she chooses to act as attorney for her affairs.

    Of course - how people react emotionally is entirely different and I cannot help there.

    In my case I dealt with the worry of who would replace me if I lost capacity myself (including to act as an attorney) by setting up attorneys for my own affairs to be activated when/if necessary.
  3. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    Do you really think it would be a good idea for your sister to be an attorney? Someone who is so uninterested in her own mother that she provides no help and forgets her birthday doesn't sound like a great option.

    You need to think what is best for your mum. She doesn't want your sister as an attorney and it sounds as if there could be good reasons for that. It sounds like even if she was an attorney your sister would do very little, and she may even be a hindrance. If your sister kicks off, tell her the truth - it's your mother's decision.
  4. doodle1

    doodle1 Registered User

    May 11, 2012
    Maybe go to a solicitor to do the POA with your mum or you saying to your sister its for advice. And then when it's done you can blame the solicitor ........
    But then I'm an old cynic
  5. Banjomansmate

    Banjomansmate Registered User

    Jan 13, 2019
    Your Mother is the donor of the Power of Attorney so if she only wants you then that is her decision.

    When I suggested LPAs to the Banjoman he would only agree to it if I was the Attorney, nobody else. As I am only a few years younger than him I said there had to be somebody else who could take over if anything happened to me or the LPAs would be lost. I also felt that his family, especially his daughters, might not like the idea of me ‘taking over’, especially if end if life decisions needed to be taken, so I said I would only do it if they were included.
    There have been some differences of opinion which has caused me some hassles but I still think it was the correct thing to do on my part, in our circumstances
    You can be the only Attorney but ask the solicitor to be back up if something happens to you.
  6. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    I sometimes think that if it was called 'Duty of Attorney' there would be less of a queue to be included in POA. It's not power 'over' someone, it's a serious responsibility given to you by that person because they trust you to do the right thing. Why does your sister want POA? It's either to access funds to benefit herself, or it's simply about being treated equally and not being left out. Sibling rivalry has no place in such a serious matter, but is all too common.

    My MIL gave POA (the old EPA) to my husband alone, and not jointly to him and his siblings. This was on the advice of her solicitor who said joint POA was unnecessarily complicated. He spent a good 10 years helping and gradually taking over the management of his mum's affairs, with no quibble from the siblings. However, when his mum lost all capacity and my husband was ready to register the POA with the OPG, suddenly his sister said she was going to make a formal objection. Apparently it 'wasn't fair' that she was excluded. She didn't actually object, BTW, because there are specific formal grounds for objection. "It's not fair, Mum should have included me" is not one of them!

    Didn't stop her moaning about it though, and when it came to executing her mum's Will she insisted on remaining an 'active' executor even though, in your words, she did flap all of the admin. It just meant more trips to her house to get signatures etc. but, hey, it was doable and only caused an extra few weeks delay in completing probate. Not at all the same as if she'd been a joint attorney.
    I shudder to imagine how that would have gone, as she likes the idea of power but runs a mile at responsibility. And hates admin. and reading papers, and doesn't do email.

    I think you should support your mum's wishes and ignore your sister's nose being out of joint. If she starts a row, tell her: "You don't need POA to be a loving daughter. It's not a measure of favour, it's a responsibility. If you want to be of more help to mum then there's lots of practical things you can do. What can you offer?"
  7. Chrissie B

    Chrissie B Registered User

    Jan 15, 2019
    Actually, even if said in jest, I think that Doodle is spot on. If your mum is happy for you to have POA but not if your sister is involved, go to a solicitor and have it done behind your sister's back. Don't bring up the subject afterward, and if your sister pushes about it, just say you are trying to sort it out, but don't.
    At the end of the day, it's your mum's wishes, and your mum doesn't have to justify herself over that decision. What a sensible doctor you have. Don't forget to get both Health and Financial LPA done at the same time, and make it clear to your mum that won't use it unless completely necessary.
    If your sister gets really ratty, just tell her that you won't do anything without consulting her first, so it makes no difference whatsoever. The beauty of the word of mouth is that it's not worth paper it's written on.
  8. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    What a good point about Duty and not Power of Attorney.
    I have heard of people using the power to whittle down funds by giving presents out of the monies where as before people would have had no more than biscuits. Well thought out, Kathrine
  9. NIK51

    NIK51 Registered User

    Oct 31, 2015
    Thank you for your suggestions. It's a toughy. I think Mum would prefer to just get it done on the quiet without my sister being involved but I am dreading the fall out. Still, I suppose we'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it
  10. myss

    myss Registered User

    Jan 14, 2018
    Can I ask - why can't you just say tell your sister? You could arrange a time to meet at your mums with your sister and another neutral person so that all of you can witness your mum saying what she wanted.

    If that's too hard to do, then have that neutral person be a solicitor/notary public and have it done like Doodle said.
  11. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    There is not a legal requirement for your sister to know anything about it, the need to have any 'people to be told' no longer exists.


    It is your mother who is granting the power, it is entirely up to her to choose attorneys and also 'people to be told' who can monitor the fact of the application, these people only need to know the names of attorneys.
  12. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    Given the problems that I've had with one of my invisibles I suggest you follow Sirena's advice although you could have your sister as a replacement attorney.

  13. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    I think at this point it is more important that your mum is fully encouraged to organise poa...try and do both finance and health/welfare as she wants and is keen. That window ...I know from experience...can disappear suddenly and all too quickly although I was in fact lucky to get dad's done...a couple of weeks later and it would not have been possible. It is entirely your mum's decision who she wants but she does ideally need to have a replacement to take over in case something happens to you...has she a trusted long time friend who would be prepared to do it in that unlikely event. As for your sister...I would help your mum to get it done...from the sound of it your sister is likely to kick off about other things as your mum declines so take the bull by the horns...tell your mum you fully support her to get poa..you are happy to be attorney...if you have to tell your sister and there is no requirement to do so it is your mum's decision to make not yours and for her to take it up with your mum not you. Get it done and registered first though. Personally...I would probably not mention to your sister again..she hasn't been interested so far and the duty of an attorney carries great responsibility and being proactive.
  14. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    Hi MaNaAk - I wonder if the invisible would be up to it? She'd have to actually do something useful! My mother named her solicitor as replacement attorney if I am unable to act.
  15. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    I see what you mean Sirena. This could be questionable.


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