Applying to be COP Deputy. But need to spend money etc now? Advice please!

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Tuto, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. Tuto

    Tuto Registered User

    Jun 12, 2015
    3
    If you haven't got time to read it all, read the last few sentences please.

    My father is diagnosed with frontotemporal and my mother with mixed Alzheimers and Lewy body dementias. They are in their mid-80s. After a very difficult period they were both assessed as lacking capacity last week and were immediately taken to a care home where they reside. It has been made clear to us that no remission is expected and they will not be able to live independently again. They are physically well and can be expected to live for several more years at least.

    They are not rich but are self-funding to the tune of nearly £6000 per month. Both deprived of their liberties and landed with a large and on-going bill all at the same time. A triple whammy if every there was one.

    They have always been resistant to making any provision for the future (eg LPOA), other than a Will; believing that they would address such issues when the time comes!

    However, I have had to take on an increasing role over the years. I have access to their online bank accounts so that I can ensure bills are paid; for seven years I have been the link with the tenants of a commercial property that they once ran a shop from; and I have helped their accountant prepare their annual return for the last two years.

    So I have begun the painful process of applying to the CoP to become a Property and Financial Affairs Deputy for both parents. The only other interested person is my brother who resides abroad but is genuinely concerned.

    I see it as my task to manage their affairs in such a way that they provide financial security for as long as possible so that their care arrangements aren't unnecessarily disrupted.

    Acting in their best interests does not mean leaving their four bedroomed house sitting empty for the months that I understand the CoP application process is likely to take. The unkempt garden and the house (which is in need of significant decorative re-furb) should be prepared; either for sale or rent. The alternative is that the limited funds in their current account and a modest savings account may be drained before an Order is granted.

    How much trouble will I get in if I get on with: sorting out the garden (purchasing tools at my parents' expense); disposing of (non-valuable) possessions and furnishings; and spending my parents money on necessary improvements prior to sale/renting?

    If I do the above will the CoP view me with suspicion and refuse to make me the Deputy? I would really appreciate some advice or well-informed observations. The more I read about the CoP and the Deputy role the more scary (and expensive) it gets.
     
  2. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,498
    Female
    Near Southampton
    Wecome to TP.

    It doesn't have to cost the earth to become a deputy although I appreciate that becoming one for both parents will obviously be more expensive.
    You can recoup the cost from your parent's capital once the Deputyship is granted.

    As you say you have already started the application, you will have given the CoP details of your parent's financial position so there will be some discrepancy when you actual become a deputy if you spend money before this, so to be on the safe side, I would ring the CoP and ask them about starting necessary spending before you have actually received the authority. They can be very helpful.
    I'm afraid I have no idea if it well be permitted or not but as I wasn't able to pay any NH fees before I received the Deputyship, I would be careful.

    The application took me 3 months.
    Good luck.
     
  3. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,740
    Female
    London
    Would you be in a position to pay the costs yourself for now and reimburse yourself once deputyship is granted? It might be a good idea to talk with the COP beforehand though.
     
  4. Tuto

    Tuto Registered User

    Jun 12, 2015
    3
    More money than you thought I meant!!

    Thanks Beate and Saffie

    My problem isn't with the cost of becoming a Deputy. Though that is irksome my real concern is that I want to, basically, empty my parents home (other than whatever they would like to personalise their rooms in the Care Home and whatever they would like family members to have.

    ...and I want to spend (maybe £20K) on redecorating, refurbing bathroom and kitchen and taming the garden.

    Oh, and their car needs to be sold rather than rust on the drive.

    I am cautious about asking the CoP in case the answer is going to be a merciless "No".

    Assuming the CoP will, at some stage, want to see all my accounts and my parents' statements etc I am also worried that, even if everything is accounted for, they will be disapproving that money has been spent without their prior approval.

    Yet things have to be done. Does anyone have any experience of a situation like this?
     
  5. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,498
    Female
    Near Southampton
    I honestly wouldn't go ahead without the nod from the CoP.
    They are the ones who will have the power of attourney for your parents.We are only their deputies, hence the name and the reason we have to pay for supervision.

    You do have to complete quite a quite thorough report every anniversary of the deputyship commencement which is why I mentioned the discrepancy.
    However, I have not been in your exact position and all comments I have heard on TP have been about the wait to use the deputyship but there may be someone who has spent money prior to receiving it. If so, I hope the respond here.

    There is the possibility that your application could be fast-tracked. I asked for this as I had a buyer waiting to buy a holiday chalet owned by my husband and myself. I don't actually think it was fast-tracked in the end but it's would maybe worth your while phoning them and asking for the appropriate form.
     
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,777
    Female
    South coast
    #6 canary, Jun 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
    Ive just recently become a CoP deputy and one of the things they do with new deputies is a sort of mentoring. I had an arranged phone call from someone from the Office of Public Guardians who went through with me what I could and couldnt do. She was lovely and very helpful and they seem to take a very sensible line. I can always contact her if I have any queries about whether I can do something or not.

    edit to say that I was paying for mums CH fees before I got the deputyship (In my case it took 8 months from start to finish) and the lady from OPG didnt seem to think that this was a problem.
     
  7. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,498
    Female
    Near Southampton
    That sounds positive so I hope that helps. I didn't have a mentor or anyone to advise. About 18 months after I became a deputy, I received a visit in my husband's NH from a 'Visitor' from the OPG. Apparently she should have come much sooner.



    Sent from my iPod touch using Talking Point
     
  8. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,475
    Radcliffe on Trent
    I think it's too much of a risk to act without checking. In most situations ignorance of the law is not considered an excuse, so you might have more problems later on if you go ahead and do something OPG would not have approved.

    Regarding the car sale, you could try DVLA and see if there is any way you could legally transfer tittle of the car to anyone else before deputyship is obtained.
     
  9. Tuto

    Tuto Registered User

    Jun 12, 2015
    3
    Thank you Pickles, Saffie and Canary

    Yesterday I hand-delivered the COP3 Assessment forms to my parents' GPs for completion. I hope they will be treated with urgency. Only after they are returned can I finish the whole bundle of forms on behalf of both my parents and send them off. Then the waiting starts. From the replies I've had on TP and from what I've read elsewhere it sounds as if I may be waiting for several months before an order is granted. To do nothing in that time may be within the letter of the law but it isn't in anybody's interests.

    So far I have broken the law on multiple occasions (e.g. stealing car keys to prevent driving) in order to help look after my parents. I have been open with everyone concerned about this and so far everyone (Police, health professionals, relatives, neighbours etc) have supported my actions because it seems that there is no way to look after older people without capacity properly without transgressing. It appears that the practical thing to do is to carry on doing whatever seems to be the 'right' thing and hope that the law eventually catches up and recognises the necessity of everything that has been done.

    The only involved relatives apart from myself are my brother and my mother's younger brother. They are totally in favour of my actions so far and our plans. This is a real quandary.
     

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