Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by SONNY, Jun 8, 2004.
Thanks for your help Carol
Sorry Emma, I was a bit slow getting to reply to your last post for this topic; but the others answered your question!
It is certainly the case that banks and building societies have accepted unregistered EPA's, but they should not have! The Public Guardianship Office (administrative arm of the Court of Protection) is in discussions with the head of banking for the UK on how to improve the training for branch staff so that they recognise EPA's and know what to do with them.
Everytime I go into my local branch of the Halifax I have to go into macdonalds next door for a coffee to calm down because they do not know what to do with the Orders from the Court of Protection!! Each time they insist I need to be registered on individual accounts to gain access, they fetch a manager who repeats the same. Last week I lost my temper pointing out that the bit of paper the blond suited "teenager" was holding cost my Mum £500 to set up and £200 a year to administer and that it damn well did give me permission to close the account and I should not have to wait half an hour to do so.! Hopefully the rest of the queue heard as well. I pointed out that maybe her branch should have some training....."teenager" replies Oh but they are so rare and procedure is changing all the time.....quite exactly why they should have some training. I could do it for them I certainly know more than they do! All this on top of the 3 months it took them to eventually get everything in place for me to run Mum's curent account. I'm still waiting for a reply to my complaint, I hope any compensation is enough to pay for my coffee bill!!!
Managing Mums finances
I've been a Receiver for Mum (as we left it too late to do EPA) for 7 years now - since Dad died and Mum moved into care home.
Once a bank account (HSB) was set up (it has my name with RECEIVER FOR MRS xxx xxxxxx underneath) and a Scottish Widows account (postal) also in my name with RECEIVER for ...... added on - I've had no problems at all. It seems naming the account as we did - which the bank suggested was the vital bit.
I remember trying to close Mums old buildings accounts with Bristol & West was a nightmare & they had never heard of COP or Receivers either.
Financially things used to be worse than they are now !!! There was a sliding scale for the annual fee - good you might think but no - Mum doesnt have huge amounts of money - there was proceeds from sale of small house and we just went into the next band. Whereas we pay £200 ish per year now - 7 years ago it was £450 - for doing very little. COP were forced to do a review & made to make fees fairer - they reported it all as if they were doing us a favour etc etc & they were the clever, benevolent ones !!!!!
What really bugs me is we dont need their protection !! I am Mums only relative & the sole beneficiary of her will & she lives in a nursing home - her pension comes in , the interest from the Special Account that was compulsary (we had no say in how Mums money was invested) comes in & her nursing home fees go out. She is so frail & had dementia so long & her world is so small - I wish I could spend the earth on her - but she hardly opens her eyes now & barely moves an inch. Its so, so sad. Even 8 years ago when Dad & I were having a joke about the lottery Mum looked down & said "Moneys no good to me now" - that feels like a knife through the heart . Sorry - having a morbid moment - damn the Court of Protection (as far as we are concerned anyway - I hope they do some good for some people not just empire build and create expensive offices & a lifestyle for themselves. apologise for bitterness I feel some of us are feeding the nations habit of creating unnecessary work.
Phew - hadnt planned all that - what a release though!!!
epa and living wills
just thought i'd ler you know how organising the EPA went last week.
it was pretty easy really we went to solicitor, told him who we wanted to have on the EPA, he completed the form, dad signed it and it costs £50.00. The solicitor stamped it and keeps a copy for free.
His advice was that you only need to lodge it with the court of protection if you run into major difficulties with some organisations. His own experinece is that an non registred EPA has been sufficient for his mother in law so far. So we are going to folllow this advice and see how we go. we have also transfered everything into joint names ( apart from pension) so EPA is only really necessary for a few things.
Someone a while ago talked about the scottish EPA whcih covers wisjes around medical care as well. I asked if this existed here, it doesnt, but what does exist is a living will whcih is a document likely to be accepted under the new goverment bill. Under the will a person cannot ask for emdical staff to purposefully end their life, but they can ask for treatment to be discontinued in certain circumstances. The living will was developed by the terence higgins foundation and now several agencies have adopted it. To avoid objections is is advisable to make sure that a copy goes to all close relatives, your consultatn and your GP.
an example can be found on the terence higgins website. I dont know if theres is any infomration on the Society site.
We are using a slighthly diffrernt version. i will try and post it if i can.
I think I'm being very dense here and have probably missed the point but -
I registered as Power of Attorney with the COP for both of my parents 4 years' ago. Once I received the stamped documents, I then registered them with the Banks and Building Societies where my parents have their accounts. So, for example if I need to buy groceries for them each week, I just withdraw cash from their bank account or write a cheque with my name signed as POA.
The COP has never asked me to provide documentation of how I spend my parents' money.
Are you now suggesting that I have to keep daily account records in addition to bank account statements so that the COP can do an annual check and also ask me to pay for this service?
Have I got hold of the wrong end of the stick here?
Enduring Power of Attorney
Page 31 of the Enduring Power of Attorney booklet from the Public Guardianship Office. Under the heading of Using a registered enduring power of attorney - Do I have to keep accounts?
You have a duty to keep accurate accounts of your dealings for the donor. And you must be ready to produce these at any time. the accounts should include an initial list of the donor's:
bank and building society accounts; and
You should then keep a full record of all the donor's income and spending. And you must keep vouchers relating to each item, including bank statements. The donor's money and assets should remain in the donor's name.
The Court of Protection can call on you to produce accounts at any time. If you cannot produce satisfactory accounts, the Court may cancel the EPA. You may also have to account to any personal representatives or executors of the donor's estate.
(This booklet is free from the Public Guardianship Office Tel: 0845 330 2900 and is called ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY, a guide to making an enduring power of attorney or taking on the role of attorney.)
Now I am really confused - my Mum rang to speak to our solicitor the other day and although he has now retired (!) we were told that we have the EPA (although they made the mistake of never getting my Mum to sign it - so she now has to do this), and that this is sufficient for now to run my Nan's financial affairs but that this will not cover us in the future if/when she becomes incapable of talking etc and that we will have to gain something else then.
I am not sure whether I have missed anything but this sounds nothing like things I have heard in the past!
Thanks for your information and I will obtain a copy of the booklet.
I must say however, that I don't particularly feel like complying with the COP and am prepared to make a really big issue of it.
I've had POA for my parents for the past 5 years without any need for anyone, except for our family members, to have access to the way I spend or invest my parents' money - and I keep all of the family informed every step of the way. If I was planning to steal all of their savings and disappear into the wilds of Indonesia then I would have done that years ago, surely???
Quite frankly, if the SS deem me fit enough to have the huge responsibility of looking after 2 parents with AD, 24/7 on an unpaid basis AND are quite happy for me to virtually give up my life overseas [which includes my business and my husband] for months on end - then surely I can be trusted to administer my parents' funds without scrutiny and having to pay the COP to make sure I do this correctly? Early on in the piece I applied for a carer's allowance - it was refused on the basis that I was 'not resident in the UK'.
So what's going on here? - I'm not 'resident' enough to get a small allowance, but I'm resident enough to look after my parents so that the NHS doesn't have to do it. I'm 'responsible' enough to look after them 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, but I'm not responsible enough to look after their finances so that the NHS doesn't have to contribute in any way ....?
Do any carers have time to write down how many pints of milk they buy each day? I don't think so!
Sorry - I might be just getting a bit petty and snarly about this. BUT there is no way that I am going to be treated like some incompetent idiot.
Just to reiterate, any solicitor who says that an unregistered enduring power of attorney form can be used to access the donor's money is giving out poor legal advice. The people in banks who accept an unregistered EPA are wrong to do so. Of course, there is the flip side of the coin which is banks being over zealous and not accepting EPA's and receivership forms -you can't win!
I also understand the frustrations of relatives who have been looking after their family's finances for years without any problems but the Court of Protection does not exist purely to monitor doting wives/husbands/children who would never dream of defrauding their loved ones, it exists to prevent unscrupulous people trying to take advantage of vulnerable adults, hence the checks such as submitting accounts, onerous as this task may seem.
I totally agree with everything you say!! I'm sure you are doing a really grand job, and who can argue with that.
Thank you for your post.
During the period before I was able to register as POA for my parents, I had to write to all of the immediate members of my family to inform them that my parents were not able to continue handling their finances and that I thought that I was in the best position to do so. From memory, they all [some 20 cousins, aunts, uncles, etc] were given 3 weeks to lodge a protest with the COP and if a protest had been received, then my application would have been refused.
Since all of the family unanimously decided that I could handle the situation and ALL of them phoned me to say that they had received the letters and agreed, then I don't see how the Court of Protection can have much of a case to dispute things now.
We followed their guidelines to the letter. I keep my family informed of everything that I do and ask their advice and opinions - they are still all very happy with the situation. If they weren't happy, then they would certainly let me know.
Since all of the family are totally in agreement with my handling of my parents' finances and are all familiar with every step that I've taken, then I hardly see that it's necessary for the COP to intervene and expect us to pay for individual audits.
I can understand your comments about unscrupulous people attempting to defraud oldies of their life savings and I'm sure that it happens.
Perhaps what is needed is a more stringent follow up of initial applications for POA, which would then allow us 'doting' husbands/wives and children to get on with the more important task of caring for our loved ones on a daily basis.
Many thanks for your support.
I feel that I've been manipulated by the 'system' right from the beginning when my parents were diagnosed with AD. I was extremely naive at the beginning of this trip. NOT NOW...
I was 'advised' to sell our family home to place my parents in Warden Assisted accommodation. It was incredibly expensive but I'd spent 11 months looking after my parents at home alone, so I did as was suggested by the SS.
The Warden assisted accommodation owners then 'advised' me after 2 years that they had no EMI registration. They then insisted that my parents had to move immediately. They then 'advised' me to place my parents in an EMI Nursing Home. I spent several months checking this out. I was told that my parents had different AD needs and would not be able to stay together and probably not even the same Home. I was 'advised' that this was the best possible course of action, although my parents have been married for 63 years and I knew that they would certainly die without each other. I resisted a great deal of pressure and 'advice' to split them up.
When I decided to rent a bungalow and for us to all live together again, I was 'advised' by just about everyone from the CPN's to the SS, that I was making a serious mistake, despite having found some incredibly good carers. By this time, I was getting a bit sick and tired of being given advice.
We've been living in this bungalow for the past 10 months. My parents are in incredibly good health, they are eating us out of house and home - almost 4 times the amount of food that they used to consume I'm happy to say. They are walking 2-3 times a day and are bright, relaxed and happy. I've reduced their Nursing Home fees and expenses by a significant amount each month and the balance is spent on decent, wholesome food and plenty of excursions for them.
The Consultant Psychiatrist visited us last week and in his own words was 'delighted and amazed at how well my parents are'.
I've got this far pretty well alone. My parents are 86 and I think they might just go on for another very happy few years in this way.
I've got off the point here, but basically I'm looking after my parents and my parents' finances after having some extremely BAD ADVICE in the past from presumably 'wellmeaning' people in authority.
So as far I'm concerned, I will continue to look after my parents in the way that I see fit, to the best of my ability. I will also use any or all of their money to do so, with the blessing of my family. And so far as I'm concerned, the COP can quite frankly, get stuffed!
I have NO intention of complying with the COP in what I feel is another thinly veiled attack by this Govt to ascertain the details of my parents' funds and to control or redirect their finances before they die.
Sorry to take up your time, but thanks anyway.
Please don't apologise for taking up my time, I agree wholeheartedly with everything you say, why would we fleece the parents who we are desperately trying to keep out of EMI units. You word it very well, I just get very annoyed!
You say "I have NO intention of complying with the COP in what I feel is another thinly veiled attack by this Govt to ascertain the details of my parents' funds and to control or redirect their finances before they die" and I agree with everything you have said in the context of this thread.
The 'however' is encapsulated in the following quote from the "Enduring power of attorney, a guide to making an enduring power of attorney or taking on the role of attorney" - the booklet provided free of charge by the Public Guardianship Office:
"If you cannot provide satisfactory accounts, the Court may cancel the EPA "
Whether or not we like the business of producing accounts, in the final reckoning, we need to consider the best interests of those who are the subject of the EPA. Would it be in their best interests to have the EPA cancelled so we have no influence at all over how their resources are applied? Would that not make them more vulnerable?
The booklet says "The Court of Protection can call on you to produce accounts at any time"
It does not say, as far as I have read, that you must produce annual accounts and pay £££ for each year, though there are certainly fees should they wish to audit the accounts.
All I am doing is keeping a bin full of supermarket receipts and I'm using Microsoft's Money program to record activities on Jan's bank accounts. I also use the program to record items that I have paid out of my own account in Jan's name. I then produce a monthly report and carry over the money I am owed into an Excel spreadsheet, and then I make appropriate credits. Doesn't take that long and works best if it is kept up to date daily or weekly.
Frankly, I'm doing this more to protect myself than to protect Jan as the underlying foundation of all that I do is to protect her.
In the case of a spouse it is all rather bizarre, since on Jan's death it all comes to me anyway! It makes things easier that Jan's care is on a Continuing Care basis, and Jan does not have to contribute, though the amount she has is under the level where she would be able to contribute.
Final point - I agree totally about the problems of getting good advice from those who seem to think they know it all, and appear unable to put themselves in the position of someone like us.
Dear Brucie and Carol,
Yes well..... I really let rip yesterday didn't I? Tired and cranky after being up 6 times in the night with mother...!!
I do see you point about not losing the POA - just really fed up with MORE WORK, as if we haven't enough to do already - and that goes for everyone here on the web.
I suppose I will have to get an account book so that the carers and I need to start writing down everything as well as keeping receipts. Unfortunately I'm not cluey enough with spreadsheets yet, which would be much faster if I was adept enough. It just seems a little pointless as everything I spend is itemised by cheque on the bank statements. Shame it isn't tax deductible really....
I am in total agreement with Sonny, when he said he feels like an unpaid lackey for the COP. Perhaps if they swapped jobs with us for a week they might be a little more understanding.
By the way, I went to the supermarket this morning [to erode my parents' funds even further...] and gave a donation to the Altzheimers Collection people. It was great to see them out and about . It was market day, so I hope they get swags of money for the Society.
For anyone in my local area, their good news was to let me know that an Altzheimers Group has been formed in Cranleigh, Surrey and will commence from next month. This will be a drop in centre where carers can take their 'carees' under supervision for a max of 5 hours. Sounds like a good opportunity to meet other carers and share news and handy hints. This is being organised through www.altzheimers.org.uk/Haslemere. We will definitely be going along. So a big thank you from me.
Haslemere is my local branch, and Amanda who is the person I have mostly been in contact with there recently, is excellent.
They once had great support for early onset people, though that lapsed somewhat when Ronnie Callanan left. Ronnie was the person who had to explain to the North Hants PCT what Continuing Care was, and I credit her with Jan [and others] having the funding she has now!
Jude, if you have the cheque stubs, that may well be enough as accounts. I just find the spreadsheet helps me, since I am a computer saddo.
My problem is that I forget to reimburse myself, so I need the spreadsheet to remind me.
How very nice to hear that you are close by. It would be really good to meet you, if you had time. We are at Alfold.
My father was born in Haslemere, at Lion Lane in Shottermill. I quite often take him for drives over that way. His grandfather/father used to run the coach and horses transport 'intercity' links in the old days and were responsible for lighting the gas lamps at night on the roads. My father often talks about this.
You mention Amanda - is this Amanda Snelgrove? If so, she is listed as Outreach Staff for Cranleigh as well and I have a phone number for her.
Why not pop in for a coffee some time when you have one of your drives in the Haslemere area? I can send directions.
Yes, it IS Amanda Snelgrove and she is a valuable contact to have. Say 'Hi' from me if you talk to her.