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Deprivation of assets - what to do?

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Jim52, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Jim52

    Jim52 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2018
    18
    Hi, first post on this wounderful forum, I'm looking for some advice concerning a mistaken asset deprecation.

    My dad has Alzheimer's and has maintained a car for years but after diagnosis surrendered his license although he kept the car and was driven about as he has mobility problems with a bad knee.

    The car failed it's mot earlier this year and we were told it wasn't worth fixing so he bought a new car without any of us realising there was such a thing as deprivation of assets and that this is a nono if you expect to need funding for care in the future.

    When talking with my brother we were wondering if we should suggest selling the car and try to recoup as much of the money as possible but then this will effect him getting about so we feel conflicted about what is best thing to do.

    We all feel pretty concerned about this even if it was a complete mistake.

    I appriciate any guidance given, thank you.
     
  2. Susan11

    Susan11 Registered User

    Nov 18, 2018
    1,469
    I'm not an expert but I dont think this is Deprivation of Assets. Your Dad needs a car for someone to drive him around in and he is just replacing an existing car. Probably someone with more experience than i have will reply too.
     
  3. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,739
    Yorkshire
    hi @Jim52
    a warm welcome to TP
    I assume that your dad is still managing his own finances and has not been deemed to no longer have capacity to do this
    so he is within his rights to spend his money as he sees fit, even if others consider his decisions are not the best
    he hasn't deliberately gone out to get rid of his money - he thought he needed a car, so he bought one

    now you need to be careful about sorting out who will drive it and who will pay the bills - using it to transport your dad seems fine, though you must ensure that your dad does not try to drive it as he may get muddled because of the dementia

    if you and other family have your own transport and will be able to chauffeur him, maybe it would be best to sell the car - you might even be able to go back to the saleroom, explain the situation and ask them to take thd car back, especially if you are still within a cooling of period
     
  4. Jim52

    Jim52 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2018
    18
    Thank you for the replies, we have both PoA's for him setup but have not registered them anywhere or felt the need to use them yet, they are just there for the future.

    Regarding running costs, I have paid the insurance on the car as I'm the one driving so It felt only right to do that and we have split the road tax again as it seemed the right thing to do, the petrol cost is separated also even though I've only put petrol in once as we really only use it for Dad's needs.

    It's the only car we have access too and unfortunately the cooling off period is over as the car was bought back in march and we only just found out about deprivation last week when looking at whats ahead.

    We are not worried about him driving off as he seems quite happy being chauffeured about now and even after he surrendered his license he never tried to drive the old car.

    Thanks for the replies, your advice is very much appreciated.
     
  5. la lucia

    la lucia Registered User

    Jul 3, 2011
    591
    I really wouldn't worry about it. When I moved house to care for my mother I made it clear to the family that my mum had to buy me a car and pay for its running and upkeep.

    I didn't own a car because I didn't need one - I lived in London and was often out of the country and to me it was too much hassle. But my mum lives rurally. The car has been fundamental. Care at home for my mother would have been impossible without it.

    However, echoing what others have said do make sure that no keys are left anywhere near your father. Just because he's easy going about not driving at the moment doesn't mean he is guaranteed to ignore the car forever. Dementia doesn't run in straight lines and one day he could just get an 'urge' to drive.
     
  6. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,739
    Yorkshire
    hi @Jim52
    it's good that you have the LPAs set up - just to check, though, you do need to have them registered with the OPG so they are ready for use when your dad wants your help and later, should he be deemed to no longer have capacity to manage his own affairs - then you take them to the bank etc to take on the management of his finances - don't wait to have them registered with the OPG as it takes some weeks
     
  7. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,753
    Female
    Scotland
    Register POAs immediately. They can take some time to come through and you may suddenly need them. Any decent solicitor would have told you to do that. Because they are registered doesn’t mean you immediately take over unless that is what is needed.
     
  8. Jim52

    Jim52 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2018
    18
    Thanks for the great advice I will definitely be careful with the keys under the circumstances.

    Thanks for the advice, I should have been clearer that they have both been registered with the OPG however the financial one hasn't been used anywhere yet (which is what I meant by registered, oops) as my dad has capacity and hasn't asked or needed us to help.
     
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,881
    Female
    South coast
    We had a financial assessment recently and the assessor specifically said that if we bought a new car to make it easier for OH to get in and out then it would not be considered deprivation of assets. I think the point is that it is something that your dad did for his own convenience. So long as your dad is the legal owner of the car (even if you are the registered keeper) then it remains your dads asset.
     
  10. Jim52

    Jim52 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2018
    18
    That's reassuring, thanks for the reply. How do you prove he is the legal owner as I am the registered keeper for insurance purposes?
     
  11. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,881
    Female
    South coast
    It should be on the paperwork when he bought the car
     
  12. Jim52

    Jim52 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2018
    18
    #12 Jim52, Dec 11, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    This changes things then as I helped him buy the car and sorted out the paperwork which is hindsight was the wrong thing to do if this will now cause an issue in the future. I actually also gave him some money towards the cost including the deposit so he didn't have to pay out as much thinking this was only fair as I would have access to drive it if ever needed.

    Any advice is very much appreciated at this point.
     
  13. Susan11

    Susan11 Registered User

    Nov 18, 2018
    1,469
    I think you need to check whose name is on the paper work.
     
  14. Jim52

    Jim52 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2018
    18
    It's my name that is on the paperwork as he asked me to sort it for him. He did arrange the bankers draft from the bank however with the garages name on it as he never uses his card and hasn't for over 15 years to buy anything hence why I paid the deposit when at the garage.
     
  15. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,414
    Female
    This sounds a bit of a muddle. Whatever you decide to do about the car, you should consider lodging the POA with his bank. You said you had not had any reason to use the POA yet, but things will be easier and clearer in future if you have official access to his finances. The bank should give the option of allowing both you and him to use the account so he shouldn't see any difference, it just means you can act for him when necessary. I did this for my mother so she could continue to withdraw money, but I could also pay for things on her behalf.
     
  16. Jim52

    Jim52 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2018
    18
    Thanks for your advice, its very much appreciated.
     
  17. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    512
    #17 arielsmelody, Dec 11, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    It's going to depend to some extent how much the car cost and his financial circumstances - if it was a second hand car that cost a few thousand that's not going to raise as many questions as a brand new car that cost a lot more. Did he buy the car outright or is it on finance?

    Another aspect is the timing - your father has already owned the car since March and it doesn't sound as if there is need for council funded care yet? If he bought a second hand reasonably priced car outright a few years before asking for council funding, it seems unlikely that the council would know or care.

    Edited to say - looking back at the posts, I've realised that you mention a banker's draft so I think maybe he effectively gave you money to buy the car?
     
  18. Jim52

    Jim52 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2018
    18
    It is a new car costing £14,500, I gave him £4000 towards it and paid for the insurance, it was paid outright with no finance. There is still no sign he will need funding anytime soon, infact his health is really good except for his mobility issue. The payment was made by bankers draft because he has not used his card for anything in over 15 years and deals in cash for everything except a few DDs.

    Thanks for the response, I'm starting to think we did things completely wrong but with the best intentions so maybe selling the car is the best idea and I will take the depreciation hit so dad doesn't lose out. This will make things more difficult for him however and my dad may not want to sell the car which may cause problems.
     
  19. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,739
    Yorkshire
    hi @Jim52
    personally, I am not so sure you need to sell the car - from all you describe there is no deliberate deprivation, although the sum involved is quite large - you will lose out straight away if you sell the car and keeping it then selling it in a few years should your dad no longer be able to use it wouldn't mean losing much more than selling it now, if you look after it and it has low mileage - if you need a car, might you slowly buy it from your dad, so he has the use and eventually it's yours?
    life goes on and it seems daft to now sell and lose money
    I am assumong the car is in his name even though you will be the driver
     
  20. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,881
    Female
    South coast
    The intentions here are absolutely fine - he bought a new car so that he could be chauffeured around

    Unfortunately, the paper trail makes it look like he gifted you with over £10,000 and you bought a new car for yourself with the money. He may not need care yet, but he had already been diagnosed with dementia and will certainly need care at some stage. Im not trying to get at you @Jim52 Im just saying how it will appear to the local Authority and they are known to be willing to go back many years if they suspect deprivation of assets.

    Im afraid that I dont know how to square this.

    If you do find that you have to sell the car to return the £10,000, there would actually be no reason why he couldnt buy another car - just make sure that the paper trail is correct and that his name is on the paper work when he buys it - even if you help him
     

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