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Deliberate Deprivation Of Assets

Firecatcher

Registered User
Jan 6, 2020
53
My Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s earlier this year and has recently donated a vast sum of money to charity. I didn’t find out until she’d made the donation. I have POA but so does my Dad and he agreed to the donation. I’ve contacted the charity who admitted they were made aware if my Mum’s diagnosis but still went ahead and accepted the money. I’ve been in contact with them but feel I’ve hit a brick wall in trying to persuade them to return it. I believe my parents have given the charity most of their life savings.
My Mum will definitely need care as her condition progresses and if my Dad wasn’t around she wouldn’t cope now as he does all the cooking, shopping and manages the household finances. As an only child I have no intention of providing care and thankfully live a few hours drive away and work. My concern is this will be seen as deliberate deprivation of assets when the local authority make an assessment. Does anyone know if they look at bank statements etc. I am totally stressed out over this and really feel like going no contact and leaving my parents to it. In the past my relationship has always been brittle. I would welcome any advice from anyone who has been in a similar situation.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,764
66
Toronto, Canada
I have not been in the same situation but I have a few thoughts. Have you discussed the donation with your father, as he agreed to it? Is it possible that he is also starting down the dementia road? Since the charity was aware of your mother's diagnosis, how would they feel about this situation being reported in the press?

As regards deliberate deprivation of assets, perhaps either contacting the local authority about it (that might start quite a rumpus so I would use it as a last resort) or a lawyer?

I realize you may well have thought of all of these yourself but just throwing out ideas.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
423
I would see a solicitor as soon as possible in this situation. Of course she are entitled to leave their money to a charity in their wills, that would have been the right approach.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
760
I have not been in the situation, but always think this forum is about ideas!
So here is an idea, it may be good, it may be bad, but it’s something else to think about.
could you not approach social services now and lay the facts before them? and literally say to them ‘ how do we proceed’.
Just because someone has dementia does not mean they do not have capacity!
People can have capacity for different things.
And if she had capacity at the time she made the decision then
Remember in DOLS law, ‘ the person has the right to make a choice or decision even if it is unwise‘. ( That isn’t the exact wording, but it’s pretty close as I remember it).
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
2,046
That is a tricky situation. I too wonder about your dad, and if he is starting to make unwise decisions. I can see your mum might have nagged him that she wanted to donate the money and he decided to go along with it, maybe to keep the peace, but I would have hoped he'd have contacted your as the other attorney first. I do all the day to day POA stuff for my mother as my brother the other attorney is ill at the moment. I do run things past him though before I do them. At the very least giving away most of your life savings seems unwise. I think discussing it with social services might be the way to go.
However this isn't your fault and I'd try not to get too stressed about it. Easier said than done, I know.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,015
High Peak
I'd definitely get more stroppy with the charity as they say they knew your mum has dementia. Tell them it was a big mistake and that she needs the money to pay for her care and they must return it immediately. Threaten if necessary - tell them you will take legal action, contact the press, your MP, social services, etc.

If this donation represents most of their life savings, not only will it be needed for your mum's care, your dad will probably need funds himself eventually too. If there's any left, perhaps a donation to this charity could be written into their wills?
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,609
I believe my parents have given the charity most of their life savings.

As POA have you checked the bank statements to see if the money has actually gone to the charity yet, and if so how much? There are quite a few 'schemes' out there (also advertised in various magazines/newspapers) whereby a charity assists someone in making their will on the proviso that the charity will then be left a donation in the will.

Your mum has only recently been diagnosed, and as already posted above, a diagnosis does not automatically mean that she has lost mental capacity. The position seems a bit confusing as if she still has capacity to decide how to spend her money then your dad wouldn't need to 'agree' the donation as POA, plus it appears that your dad has also donated his half of their savings too. It could be the case that due to her recent diagnosis your mum and dad decided to make wills and that has resulted in the donation, or promise of a donation. It seems a bit odd that if your mum was making a typical donation to charity that the charity are aware that she has recently been diagnosed with dementia. Has your dad explained the full circumstances relating to the donation?

With regards to a financial assessment, only your mum's half of the savings would be taken into account, not your dad's, and the local authority do ask for bank statements. As a financial attorney your dad has a responsibility to ensure that your mum's money is spent in her 'best interests' so if she had no capacity at the time the donation was made then he may come under scrutiny himself from social services if they look at deprivation of assets. Obviously deprivation of assets wouldn't apply if the donation has been left in a will. You mention that you have a brittle relationship with your parent but if you can, check the bank statements and get some more information from your dad about the circumstances to ensure that you have the full facts. It may also be worth talking through the situation via the Dementia Connect helpline: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/dementiaconnect
 

Firecatcher

Registered User
Jan 6, 2020
53
Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. I think my father agreed to the donation to keep the peace and have a quiet life. My mother can be very difficult when thwarted and he’s mentioned occasions where she’s thrown objects at him during disagreements.

I’ve also consulted with the solicitor who drew up the POA as the charity asked for a copy of this. He won’t release anything until he’s had signed agreement from both my Mum and Dad which was obviously my Mum isn’t going to agree to.

I would have been more than happy if my parents had left money to the charity in their will. I never expected or wanted to inherit anything from them as they’ve never helped me out at any point in the past.

I’ve considered contacting social services but worry about digging an even deeper hole and dread having to say that i don’t want to end up as their carer. I’m already fearful of the pressure that i’ll be put under in the future.

I feel this has been a direct response from my Mum following a visit we made just over a week before she made the donation. She mentioned that she’d have to go into a home if anything happened to my Dad and I didn’t respond by saying that I’d take care of her. My Mum’s mental state fluctuates but she probably was deemed to have capacity when the charity spoke to her. Having said that I find it difficult to understand why they agreed to accept such a large amount given her diagnosis and the age of both my parents. I presume they thought that family were going to step in and look after them.

I’d be more than happy to go to the press but my husband is reluctant to take it this far and fears the charity will try to turn the tables if we do.
 

Andrea57

Registered User
Feb 15, 2020
69
Chesterfield
My Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s earlier this year and has recently donated a vast sum of money to charity. I didn’t find out until she’d made the donation. I have POA but so does my Dad and he agreed to the donation. I’ve contacted the charity who admitted they were made aware if my Mum’s diagnosis but still went ahead and accepted the money. I’ve been in contact with them but feel I’ve hit a brick wall in trying to persuade them to return it. I believe my parents have given the charity most of their life savings.
My Mum will definitely need care as her condition progresses and if my Dad wasn’t around she wouldn’t cope now as he does all the cooking, shopping and manages the household finances. As an only child I have no intention of providing care and thankfully live a few hours drive away and work. My concern is this will be seen as deliberate deprivation of assets when the local authority make an assessment. Does anyone know if they look at bank statements etc. I am totally stressed out over this and really feel like going no contact and leaving my parents to it. In the past my relationship has always been brittle. I would welcome any advice from anyone who has been in a similar situation.
My mum has done the same thing in her will which I have only just been told about by a neighbor that went with her to change the will .mum also gave a large amount of money to her sister which I didn't find out until months later. All this after her problem's started but before being diagnosed.And all because of the hate towards me which I know now was the illness. It's a massive kick in the guts.
 

Firecatcher

Registered User
Jan 6, 2020
53
As POA have you checked the bank statements to see if the money has actually gone to the charity yet, and if so how much? There are quite a few 'schemes' out there (also advertised in various magazines/newspapers) whereby a charity assists someone in making their will on the proviso that the charity will then be left a donation in the will.

Your mum has only recently been diagnosed, and as already posted above, a diagnosis does not automatically mean that she has lost mental capacity. The position seems a bit confusing as if she still has capacity to decide how to spend her money then your dad wouldn't need to 'agree' the donation as POA, plus it appears that your dad has also donated his half of their savings too. It could be the case that due to her recent diagnosis your mum and dad decided to make wills and that has resulted in the donation, or promise of a donation. It seems a bit odd that if your mum was making a typical donation to charity that the charity are aware that she has recently been diagnosed with dementia. Has your dad explained the full circumstances relating to the donation?

With regards to a financial assessment, only your mum's half of the savings would be taken into account, not your dad's, and the local authority do ask for bank statements. As a financial attorney your dad has a responsibility to ensure that your mum's money is spent in her 'best interests' so if she had no capacity at the time the donation was made then he may come under scrutiny himself from social services if they look at deprivation of assets. Obviously deprivation of assets wouldn't apply if the donation has been left in a will. You mention that you have a brittle relationship with your parent but if you can, check the bank statements and get some more information from your dad about the circumstances to ensure that you have the full facts. It may also be worth talking through the situation via the Dementia Connect helpline: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/dementiaconnect

Thanks Louise7. I don’t have access to my parents bank statements. As my Dad is perfectly capable he handles all the finances. A representative from the charity spoke to both my parents over the phone and my Dad told them about my Mum’s diagnosis. My Mum apparently said she wanted the charity to have the money whilst she’s still alive. They had both made wills a long time ago.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
13,323
England
The worst scenario would be if your Mother required care within a care home or nursing home and the LA decided that this was depravation of assets because it was done after diagnosis which means there would be a possibility of full time care being needed then they would refuse to pay. Someone will have to pay the care fees until the amount given away has been reached then the LA will step in.

Is there any one who would be willing to pay the monthly fees if the LA decided it was deprivation?
 

Firecatcher

Registered User
Jan 6, 2020
53
The worst scenario would be if your Mother required care within a care home or nursing home and the LA decided that this was depravation of assets because it was done after diagnosis which means there would be a possibility of full time care being needed then they would refuse to pay. Someone will have to pay the care fees until the amount given away has been reached then the LA will step in.

Is there any one who would be willing to pay the monthly fees if the LA decided it was deprivation?

There isn’t anyone who could pay the deficit if this was seen as deprivation of assets. I’m actually absolutely terrified the local authority would come to me asking fir money. I’ve worked incredibly hard throughout my life and certainly won’t be handing over any of my money to pay for my parents financial mismanagement. It’s for this reason I fell like I should cut my ties and run.
 

Firecatcher

Registered User
Jan 6, 2020
53
My mum has done the same thing in her will which I have only just been told about by a neighbor that went with her to change the will .mum also gave a large amount of money to her sister which I didn't find out until months later. All this after her problem's started but before being diagnosed.And all because of the hate towards me which I know now was the illness. It's a massive kick in the guts.

Really sorry to hear about your Mum’s actions. I can imagine how hard this must be for you to deal with. I think the illness has made my Mum more impulsive in that she seems to decide on something and then go ahead. Sadly we’ve never been close and although I’ve never done anything wrong or been a burden I’ve simply not been the kind of daughter she wanted
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
13,323
England
Do your parents own the home they live in and how is it owned? If your Father should pass before your Mother and his half of the house became your Mums then she has a sizeable asset that can be sold if she has to go into care. If your Father is still alive when she goes into care then the house is disregarded because he needs to live there.

LPA also means that the person who has the LPA has to work in the best interests of the person they are acting for. Gifts can be given as long as they are in line with gifts already given but certainly not a gift that would wipe out a large portion of any assets. It will depend how your Mother’s local authority deals with what they see. Many LAs are now struggling to cover what they have to cover and there is every possibility that they will dig deep. Its very much a wait and see situation for you. It’s sad that the charity seem set on keeping the money.,
 

Veritas

Registered User
Jun 15, 2020
69
There isn’t anyone who could pay the deficit if this was seen as deprivation of assets. I’m actually absolutely terrified the local authority would come to me asking fir money. I’ve worked incredibly hard throughout my life and certainly won’t be handing over any of my money to pay for my parents financial mismanagement. It’s for this reason I fell like I should cut my ties and run.
No-one can require you to pay any money towards your parents' care - so don't worry about that. The people with the liability, if any, is your parents.

It seems to me, from what you've posted about the circumstances under which the donation was made, that the charity is wide open to criticism here, and you could consider telling them that you will be discussing the matter with the Charity Commission. The charity would not wish to be on the wrong end of an investigation if the CC chose to follow it up.

There is also a safeguarding issue - it may be that your father is as vulnerable in his way as your mother is in hers. If he agreed to the donation under duress, he needs safeguarding too. I don't think it would be going too far to have a conversation with social services about this. It's not just about the deprivation of assets question. You are entirely at liberty to make it clear - if asked - that you are not in a position to provide any more support or be involved any more than you currently are. You do not have to explain why. You cannot be forced (other than, perhaps, by your own conscience or sense of responsibility) to take on a caring role, even if you didn't have the other commitments you clearly do have.
 

Andrea57

Registered User
Feb 15, 2020
69
Chesterfield
Really sorry to hear about your Mum’s actions. I can imagine how hard this must be for you to deal with. I think the illness has made my Mum more impulsive in that she seems to decide on something and then go ahead. Sadly we’ve never been close and although I’ve never done anything wrong or been a burden I’ve simply not been the kind of daughter she wanted
You really sound like me and my mum except we were close and did everything together cause she didn't get on with my dad really so I tried to keep the peace between them, think thats why we still live together.
 

Firecatcher

Registered User
Jan 6, 2020
53
Do your parents own the home they live in and how is it owned? If your Father should pass before your Mother and his half of the house became your Mums then she has a sizeable asset that can be sold if she has to go into care. If your Father is still alive when she goes into care then the house is disregarded because he needs to live there.

LPA also means that the person who has the LPA has to work in the best interests of the person they are acting for. Gifts can be given as long as they are in line with gifts already given but certainly not a gift that would wipe out a large portion of any assets. It will depend how your Mother’s local authority deals with what they see. Many LAs are now struggling to cover what they have to cover and there is every possibility that they will dig deep. Its very much a wait and see situation for you. It’s sad that the charity seem set on keeping the money.,

Yes my parents own their own house so they still have some assets. I’m also very disappointed that at the moment the charity seem to want to retain the donation especially after I sent them a lengthy email explaining about my parents situation.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,147
Surely charities have responsibilities and accepting money from a person who has a diagnosis of dementia sounds unethical to me. They are not allowed to accept money if there is any suspicion of criminal activities and I doubt that accepting money from someone who lacks capacity would be allowed.

I found this document that says quite clearly that the donation should have been refused. Page 13

Sorry that you are in this position
 

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Firecatcher

Registered User
Jan 6, 2020
53
Surely charities have responsibilities and accepting money from a person who has a diagnosis of dementia sounds unethical to me. They are not allowed to accept money if there is any suspicion of criminal activities and I doubt that accepting money from someone who lacks capacity would be allowed.

I found this document that says quite clearly that the donation should have been refused. Page 13

Sorry that you are in this position

Thank you very much for this.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
13,323
England
Yes my parents own their own house so they still have some assets. I’m also very disappointed that at the moment the charity seem to want to retain the donation especially after I sent them a lengthy email explaining about my parents situation.


If your Father is still alive when your mother goes into care the house is disregarded as your Father needs to live there so therefor it is not an asset for your Mother. Her assets will be funds available in her name only. Technically a house as it’s needed to live in is never a good asset. It’s value is tied up whilst it’s needed as a home.