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Dad appointed solicitor as LPA instead of daughters

DevastatedDaughter

Registered User
Jun 21, 2021
18
0
Hi,
My dad was diagnosed with late onset Alzheimer’s in 2011.

In 2015 he changed his Will and appointed a solicitor to be his LPA. I know that he did not declare he had any form of dementia at the time but I think from the progress of the condition he would have had mid stage dementia.

He now has later stage dementia and was officially declared not to have capacity in 2020 and is now in a care home. I always had a great relationship with my dad who raised me as a single parent. I believe he wasn’t of sound mind when he changed his Will and appointed a solicitor to be his LPA instead of his children. I believe I could technically challenge the legality of the LPA decision on prescribed grounds but wondered how likely this would be to get revoked as I’m going up against a solicitor?

Does anyone have experience of challenging an LPA when the LPA is themselves a solicitor?
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
74,125
0
Kent
Hello @DevastatedDaughter Welcome to Talking Point

It doesn`t mean because your dad has changed his will with regard to the LPA, he has changed his will with regard to the beneficiaries, unless you know otherwise.

I helped care for a neighbour with dementia. He had no children but he did have family and his solicitor was appointed his LPA. When he died, his family received their share of his estate.

Is it possible your dad wanted his solicitor to have the responsibilities of making decisions in his best interests in order to save you the hassle and worries.

It would have been the soliciotor`s duty to establish your dad`s state of mind when he changed the LPA otherwise he would have been in breach of ethics.

Others here may have different views.

If you are really worried please contact the Dementia helpline, Dementia Connect.

 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,539
0
South coast
That is very unfortunate.
Solicitors are required to make sure that any person who wishes to make or change a will or POA has the capacity to do so. The diagnosis of dementia does not necessarily mean that someone lacks capacity. I think it is going to be very difficult at this stage to prove that he did not have capacity at the time of changing his POA and will, especially as it happened six years ago.
Are you your dads carer?
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
3,015
0
Dorset
Providing the solicitor explained to your Dad that he would be charging for all the work he carried out I’m not sure what grounds you would have to object? Your Dad could have made his wishes clear about what he wished should happen as to his health and welfare and that is why he is in residential care.
As we all know, whilst we have the emotional ties and do our best to keep our loved ones at home, a third party can make a more detached decision. If, while he was logical your Dad
said “When I get to a certain stage put me in a home” then the third party is more likely to carry out that decision than a carer who hears the person with dementia saying “I want to stay at home” and jumps through hoops to accommodate that wish despite the earlier declaration.
 

DevastatedDaughter

Registered User
Jun 21, 2021
18
0
Sorry I wasn’t very clear. The appointment of the solicitor as LPA was new in 2015. Up until then he didn’t have an LPA. He also at the same time changed the beneficiaries of his Will from a 50/50 split between myself and my sister to a much more complicated will with nine beneficiaries split 16 ways including a number of charities he has no history of supporting.

the enormity of the will change is so hurtful and overwhelming, for now I can only think about the LPA. I hate him paying for a solicitors services when I could manage his finances for free and I hate going cap in hand to them when I need expenses for him.
 

DevastatedDaughter

Registered User
Jun 21, 2021
18
0
That is very unfortunate.
Solicitors are required to make sure that any person who wishes to make or change a will or POA has the capacity to do so. The diagnosis of dementia does not necessarily mean that someone lacks capacity. I think it is going to be very difficult at this stage to prove that he did not have capacity at the time of changing his POA and will, especially as it happened six years ago.
Are you your dads carer?
He’s in a care home now but with the help of some home care visits I was caring for him in the year leading up to his admission.
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,477
0
Newcastle
I can't see any reason for challenging this. The solicitor would have to ensure that the Power of Attorney document was properly drawn up, including ensuring that the Donor had capacity and was acting on their own free will.

Unless it is alleged that the Attorney is not acting in the Donor's best interest what would be the point in a challenge? There is nothing to say that a person should choose a family member as Attorney.

Your additional information seems to suggest that the bigger issue is the change to his Will. That happens, and it is up to the person making the Will to determine who they want to benefit after their decease. Again, I don't see any reason why this should be challenged. You aren't in a position to suggest that he didn't wish to make the changes. Any 'hurt' that you feel is beside the point.
 

DevastatedDaughter

Registered User
Jun 21, 2021
18
0
I can't see any reason for challenging this. The solicitor would have to ensure that the Power of Attorney document was properly drawn up, including ensuring that the Donor had capacity and was acting on their own free will.

Unless it is alleged that the Attorney is not acting in the Donor's best interest what would be the point in a challenge? There is nothing to say that a person should choose a family member as Attorney.

Your additional information seems to suggest that the bigger issue is the change to his Will. That happens, and it is up to the person making the Will to determine who they want to benefit after their decease. Again, I don't see any reason why this should be challenged. You aren't in a position to suggest that he didn't wish to make the changes. Any 'hurt' that you feel is beside the point.
Why would the solicitor assess his mental capacity if they didn’t know of his dementia diagnosis? Surely they just assumed it?

regarding the will, is the legitimacy not questionable when someone with mid stage dementia suddenly changes their lifetime wishes and adds seven new beneficiaries to their will?
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,477
0
Newcastle
You will need to seek legal advice if you feel that the legitimacy of the Will is open to challenge, either now or following the death of your father.

On your original question about LPA, it is worth noting that (assuming that they wish to) the Donor needs to have capacity in order to revoke a LPA. They would then need to make a new one, again requiring capacity to do so. You have said that your Dad no longer has capacity.

My understanding is that, even if the existing LPA ceased for some reason, given the lack of capacity, the only option would then be to apply to the Office of the Public Guardian for Guardianship.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
14,185
0
England
I changed my will when my husband died. I was with my solicitor a good hour talking over what I wanted to do and why. She then had plenty of ‘what ifs ‘ before pen was put to paper. I’m sure she would have picked up if I was not understanding.

My husband was just under 7 years post diagnosis when he possibly lost his capacity to deal with finances. From year five he couldn’t make a pot of tea or go to see his sister but he knew what was in his bank account.

Solicitors deal with loss of capacity regularly and I think they would be looking for loss of capacity with anyone wishing to change a will and being elderly. They have a lot more to loose than to gain if they get it wrong.

For your own peace of mind you could ask for it to be looked into if you think anything untoward is going on.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,953
0
High Peak
Sorry I wasn’t very clear. The appointment of the solicitor as LPA was new in 2015. Up until then he didn’t have an LPA. He also at the same time changed the beneficiaries of his Will from a 50/50 split between myself and my sister to a much more complicated will with nine beneficiaries split 16 ways including a number of charities he has no history of supporting.

the enormity of the will change is so hurtful and overwhelming, for now I can only think about the LPA. I hate him paying for a solicitors services when I could manage his finances for free and I hate going cap in hand to them when I need expenses for him.
I don't think you have a cat in hell's chance of challenging this. Not least, you would have to prove that he was 'not of sound mind' 6 years ago - how would you do that? It's not enough to say 'he's this bad now so he must have already been that bad back then.'

I think you're an unfortunate victim of that grey area in dementia where someone is (maybe) making poor decisions but in no way have they lost capacity. Often, good sense and logic go out the window a long time before someone's ability to act on a bright idea they may have had or a suggestion made to them. The elderly are incredibly vulnerable and often the target of scammers for this reason. It could be he got several 'begging' calls from charities (some use shockingly unscrupulous tactics) and dealt with it by telling them he'd leave them something in his will. These despicable people share the phone numbers of 'easy targets' and unfortunately that could explain his bequests to several charities he didn't previously support. But - if that is what happened - I expect if you'd asked him about it at the time he would have been adamant it was what he wanted to do.

Add to that the idea that the solicitor he went to was really nice, helpful and thorough! That person may have innocently questioned your dad's decision to leave 50/50 to you and your sister: 'Are you sure there's no one else? What about cousins, children, others you care about? Do you want to leave some to them? Make sure you don't miss anyone out!' And your dad thought about it and decided he wanted to leave bits and pieces to others. He probably left the solicitor feeling really pleased with himself, thinking how all those people would benefit from his estate when he died! And he probably gave no thought at all to the fact you and your sister would be getting a lot less! It's very easy to imagine a scenario like this - and no one has done anything wrong. (Except for the charity callers of course.)

What I'm trying to say is that a poor decision or one that isn't properly thought through does not indicate a person has lost capacity. The law is very clear about this. Also, to fight it you would have to suggest that the solicitor didn't notice your father was acting in a bizarre or irresponsible way in changing his will. As that would make the solicitor look very bad, I think he/she would fight any objections you made simply to protect themselves.
 

DevastatedDaughter

Registered User
Jun 21, 2021
18
0
I don't think you have a cat in hell's chance of challenging this. Not least, you would have to prove that he was 'not of sound mind' 6 years ago - how would you do that? It's not enough to say 'he's this bad now so he must have already been that bad back then.'

I think you're an unfortunate victim of that grey area in dementia where someone is (maybe) making poor decisions but in no way have they lost capacity. Often, good sense and logic go out the window a long time before someone's ability to act on a bright idea they may have had or a suggestion made to them. The elderly are incredibly vulnerable and often the target of scammers for this reason. It could be he got several 'begging' calls from charities (some use shockingly unscrupulous tactics) and dealt with it by telling them he'd leave them something in his will. These despicable people share the phone numbers of 'easy targets' and unfortunately that could explain his bequests to several charities he didn't previously support. But - if that is what happened - I expect if you'd asked him about it at the time he would have been adamant it was what he wanted to do.

Add to that the idea that the solicitor he went to was really nice, helpful and thorough! That person may have innocently questioned your dad's decision to leave 50/50 to you and your sister: 'Are you sure there's no one else? What about cousins, children, others you care about? Do you want to leave some to them? Make sure you don't miss anyone out!' And your dad thought about it and decided he wanted to leave bits and pieces to others. He probably left the solicitor feeling really pleased with himself, thinking how all those people would benefit from his estate when he died! And he probably gave no thought at all to the fact you and your sister would be getting a lot less! It's very easy to imagine a scenario like this - and no one has done anything wrong. (Except for the charity callers of course.)

What I'm trying to say is that a poor decision or one that isn't properly thought through does not indicate a person has lost capacity. The law is very clear about this. Also, to fight it you would have to suggest that the solicitor didn't notice your father was acting in a bizarre or irresponsible way in changing his will. As that would make the solicitor look very bad, I think he/she would fight any objections you made simply to protect themselves.
I think you’ve summed it up perfectly. And yes at the time he was getting scammed a lot by cold callers. I didn’t think I had any real hope in challenging anything but it’s always worth asking others opinions. Thank you all for your input it’s much appreciated.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
815
0
Just a thought! Who acted as your dads witness on the LPA and how well did they know him? If the solicitor was named as attorney, then they cannot also certify capacity or witness dads signature. If it was just someone in the solicitors office, how long did they spend with your dad to ascertain his capacity?

I’m not sure though that knowing these things will make any difference to challenging the LPA.
 

DevastatedDaughter

Registered User
Jun 21, 2021
18
0
As I said before, my dad raised me as a single parent, we’ve been through a lot. I’ve also sacrificed time with my own young family to care for him. It’s difficult not to feel hurt and betrayed to know he’s bequeathed more to battersea dogs home than to me. Guess I need to suck it up.
 

MrsV

Registered User
Apr 16, 2018
235
0
Northamptonshire
I don't think you have a cat in hell's chance of challenging this. Not least, you would have to prove that he was 'not of sound mind' 6 years ago - how would you do that? It's not enough to say 'he's this bad now so he must have already been that bad back then.'

I think you're an unfortunate victim of that grey area in dementia where someone is (maybe) making poor decisions but in no way have they lost capacity. Often, good sense and logic go out the window a long time before someone's ability to act on a bright idea they may have had or a suggestion made to them. The elderly are incredibly vulnerable and often the target of scammers for this reason. It could be he got several 'begging' calls from charities (some use shockingly unscrupulous tactics) and dealt with it by telling them he'd leave them something in his will. These despicable people share the phone numbers of 'easy targets' and unfortunately that could explain his bequests to several charities he didn't previously support. But - if that is what happened - I expect if you'd asked him about it at the time he would have been adamant it was what he wanted to do.

Add to that the idea that the solicitor he went to was really nice, helpful and thorough! That person may have innocently questioned your dad's decision to leave 50/50 to you and your sister: 'Are you sure there's no one else? What about cousins, children, others you care about? Do you want to leave some to them? Make sure you don't miss anyone out!' And your dad thought about it and decided he wanted to leave bits and pieces to others. He probably left the solicitor feeling really pleased with himself, thinking how all those people would benefit from his estate when he died! And he probably gave no thought at all to the fact you and your sister would be getting a lot less! It's very easy to imagine a scenario like this - and no one has done anything wrong. (Except for the charity callers of course.)

What I'm trying to say is that a poor decision or one that isn't properly thought through does not indicate a person has lost capacity. The law is very clear about this. Also, to fight it you would have to suggest that the solicitor didn't notice your father was acting in a bizarre or irresponsible way in changing his will. As that would make the solicitor look very bad, I think he/she would fight any objections you made simply to protect themselves.
Hi there,

Oh my that's a horrendous thing to happen. Why would your Dad do that to you and your sibling?. Thats cruel and a horrible slap in the face. That is coercive conversation, putting words in their mind. I've never known anyone split their will between so many beneficiaries. Unless it was a huge estate. Usually you leave to your children first, and your spouse if you have one. and they can give a keepsake to cousins from your dad's house. and a small sum to a favorite charity. Charity begins at home anyway. If it were me I'd feel terribly betrayed. So how does it work if your Dad needs anything, like new clothing in the CH? will the solicitor go to the shops and buy new pyjamas and slippers for him, and take them around? Weird.
 
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DevastatedDaughter

Registered User
Jun 21, 2021
18
0
Hi there,

Oh my that's a horrendous thing to happen. Why would your Dad do that to you and your sibling?. Thats cruel and a horrible slap in the face. That is coercive conversation, putting words in their mind. I've never known anyone split their will between so many beneficiaries. Unless it was a huge estate. Usually you leave to your children first, and your spouse if you have one. and they can give a keepsake to cousins from your dad's house. and a small sum to a favorite charity. Charity begins at home anyway. If it were me I'd feel terribly betrayed. So how does it work if your Dad needs anything, like new clothing in the CH? will the solicitor go to the shops and buy new pyjamas and slippers for him, and take them around? Weird.
I have to buy whatever he needs and ask for expenses. The solicitor also instructed the clearance, marketing and sale of the family home that I lived in from age four. All without the courtesy of a phone call to let me know. I’m being treated like a nobody. To anyone who is thinking of making a solicitor their LPA to save their children the hassle, please don’t!
 

Lone Wolf

Registered User
Sep 20, 2020
189
0
How did your Dad choose the solicitor to be the LPA? How did your Dad choose the witnesses? Were you or your sister notified of the registration of the LPA, and if not would this have been out of character for your Dad? Have you googled the name of the solicitor to see if anything of concern is revealed? At the very least this highlights a glaring weakness if an already medically diagnosed Alzheimer's patient can be presumed to have capacity for such an important legal appointment when many on this forum know that people who don't have capacity can present as such (hosting). Further, if the solicitor and witnesses did not know your Dad very well, then how could they form a judgement as to his capacity when capacity is a critical requirement to executing an LPA? Do you have a good MP who you could take your concerns to for further advice?
 

DevastatedDaughter

Registered User
Jun 21, 2021
18
0
How did your Dad choose the solicitor to be the LPA? How did your Dad choose the witnesses? Were you or your sister notified of the registration of the LPA, and if not would this have been out of character for your Dad? Have you googled the name of the solicitor to see if anything of concern is revealed? At the very least this highlights a glaring weakness if an already medically diagnosed Alzheimer's patient can be presumed to have capacity for such an important legal appointment when many on this forum know that people who don't have capacity can present as such (hosting). Further, if the solicitor and witnesses did not know your Dad very well, then how could they form a judgement as to his capacity when capacity is a critical requirement to executing an LPA? Do you have a good MP who you could take your concerns to for further advice?
It’s a local solicitor, there’s a handful to choose from in the local town centre. Apart from general terrible reviews there’s nothing untoward to be found. I have no idea who the witness was. No we were not notified of anything and not told anything about a Will. It was all a huge shock to find it all out relatively recently. It’s ALL out of character. The LPA and Will coincided with a period of extreme stress when, as an only child he had to admit his own mother to a care home. He began to act irrationally, I have a letter from his next door neighbour dated around the same time, saying they will call the police (again) if he continues to damage their property and behave antisocially. I also have a letter that I sent to him around the same time telling him I loved him but his behaviour towards me and my (then toddler) children was upsetting me.
 

DevastatedDaughter

Registered User
Jun 21, 2021
18
0
How did your Dad choose the solicitor to be the LPA? How did your Dad choose the witnesses? Were you or your sister notified of the registration of the LPA, and if not would this have been out of character for your Dad? Have you googled the name of the solicitor to see if anything of concern is revealed? At the very least this highlights a glaring weakness if an already medically diagnosed Alzheimer's patient can be presumed to have capacity for such an important legal appointment when many on this forum know that people who don't have capacity can present as such (hosting). Further, if the solicitor and witnesses did not know your Dad very well, then how could they form a judgement as to his capacity when capacity is a critical requirement to executing an LPA? Do you have a good MP who you could take your concerns to for further advice?it was