Early Dementia and request to be power of attorney?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by redbaron, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. redbaron

    redbaron Registered User

    Aug 13, 2014
    My mother who is 94 years of age has the early signs of dementia, short term memory loss although her long term memory is excellent.

    She has requested me to be her appointed power of attorney, in fact she wanted me to be power of attorney a number of year ago because I have handled her finances for around 4 years and I have third party access on her bank account.

    The problem now is that she was recently submitted to a nursing home because of the start of dementia and she is also visually impaired. My mother's siblings (brothers/sisters) are very unhappy that I am still continuing to sort out her finances and have requested money for useless things that my mother does not want, some of the money requests also seem to be nothing to do with my mother. I have explained to my mother what is going on and she is not happy and still wishes me to be appointed for power of attorney (financial).

    I have spoken to a solicitor and there is a concern if a power of attorney can be appointed for someone with dementia. Has anyone been in this situation? and can a power of attorney be done for someone with early dementia? I only have my mother's interests at heart unlike the rest of the family.
  2. nita

    nita Registered User

    Dec 30, 2011
    Yes, a PoA can be done for a person with early dementia. I posted on this myself and got many helpful replies. The person may still have capacity to make this type of decision and therefore they can. It is only when a person is deemed to have lost capacity that they cannot make a PoA and then you have to go for deputyship via the Court of Protection.

    I will try and find my earlier thread to give you a link. Found it!

  3. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands

    Yes someone with dementia can authorise power of attorney, so long as they know at that time when signing, exactly what they are authorising.

    It doesn't matter if 10mins later they have forgotten that it has been agreed

    You can do the forms yourself... But with your siblings it may be better to get someone else involved with the filling of the forms.

    Ageuk and Alzheimer's support have people who may be able to help you.

    Her GP may charge you a small fee (use mums money to pay the fee, not from your purse) to say mum has capacity to sign the form. That way your siblings won't have a foot to stand on

    It may be worth mentioning to your siblings that when mum is in full time care, the finance department of the social services will check her accounts closely and if they see any irregular movement of money, they can demand the money is repaid...

    Won't happen if mum is self funding... But little white lies are useful to use with siblings too :eek: :D

    If you do get POA, you will be totally responsible for mums money, and there is a possibility that the accounts could be checked by the OPG - though it's not happened to me... Yet

    It's at probate - when your mum is no longer alive - that I think it does get involved... But that's a bridge I will find out how to cross when I need to...

    I keep tight control of mums finances with all receipts covering every expenditure... Even when I buy her a chocolate bar....

    It's not easy.... Even harder if siblings are not supportive xx

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  4. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    The only issue is that of mental competence. The person creating the power of attorney must be able to understand what it is and what it does.

    If this is done via a solicitor they will assure themselves that their client (which would be your mum) has competence. If there is sufficient doubt they can ask for medical evidence to substantiate.

    Dementia in itself does not automatically mean a person lacks mental comeptence to create power of attorney, even if they have mental deficits. Memory is largely irrelevent, it would not matter if your mum forget the powe rof attorney existed right after signing it.

    I would say that if your mum has enough competence to know she wants to give you power of attorney to manage her finances, she has competence to actually do so.

    Although it can be done quite easily without a legal professional - the document has to be signed by someone who would know your mum well enough to attest to her having mental competence and that she is not under duress or pressure to do it.

    However, if you forsee the rest of the family having "issues" then a solicitor migh tbe a better way forward.

    It is possible to contest and object to a power of attorney. If it is dfone via a professional there is no possibility of making some trivial error that would invalidate it. Also, if a solicitor accepts their client has mental competence this is much harder to challenge later.

    As said if you rmother goes into care there woul dbe a financial asessment, the local authority will go through her accounts looking for irregularities. If there are unusual "loans" or "gifts" being made, they could be classed as a deprivation of assets and the local authority can demand they are repaid.
  5. redbaron

    redbaron Registered User

    Aug 13, 2014
    Thank you all so much for all of the valuable information that you have provided. I will most certainly go down the solicitor route. Checked with her solicitor and it costs around £400+vat, is this the going rate?
  6. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    We paid £600 for POA for both of us for financial and welfare. Solicitor did all the writing to everyone involved - 3 daughters, registered the forms, did our will at the same time.

    Money well spent as the next year husband was diagnosed with AD.
  7. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Wow. They really take it from the living. Considering that it costs only £110 fee to do an LPA (not even that if you are exempt) and you can fill it in easily yourself, this is a nice little earner for them!
  8. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Normally I would agree, but it appears that this is a complex situation so perhaps more worth it to hire a professional.
  9. starryuk

    starryuk Registered User

    Nov 8, 2012
    Mum has died recently. My POA ceased from that moment. Her money was frozen and finally (when he received a certificate from the probate office) released to my brother who was appointed executor in Mum's will.

    In our case, in mum's final days, since I had POA, I moved some money into my account to pay for Mum's funeral.
  10. redbaron

    redbaron Registered User

    Aug 13, 2014
    I have now arranged an appointment with the solicitor next week to apply for the LPA. The solicitor is recommending that we should obtain a second certificate from her GP to confirm that she has the mental capacity to understand what the LPA entails.

    Does anyone know how the GP assesses the patient for this certificate? Is it a matter of just making an appointment with the GP and the GP carries out a number of mental tests? or is it a long drawn out process that involves visits to hospitals etc? just worried about the short deadline that we have before the LPA is applied for next week.
  11. mrjelly

    mrjelly Registered User

    Jul 23, 2012
    West Sussex
    #11 mrjelly, Aug 28, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
    I would have expected a competent solicitor to be able to do a capacity assessment. They have to do the same kind of thing whenever they draw up a will, don't they?

    Our GP refused to get involved, as he thought it was a job for a solicitor.
  12. Fred Flintstone

    Fred Flintstone Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    S. E. England
    What solicitors may charge.

    My parents' solicitors charged over
    £1500+ just for the third-rate clerical work involved, not including their GP's certificate (just £30 !) and the four times £110 fee for registering two pairs of LPA's with the Office of the Public Guardian.

    It doesn't look hard to do it online from the links shown herein:

  13. Fred Flintstone

    Fred Flintstone Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    S. E. England
    I think you just make an appointment to see the GP and s/he asks a number of damn-fool questions, most of which the person being assessed has to get either right or nearly right - such as the time of the day to about the right hour am or pm, the name of the prime minister, the day of the week, month or year etc. It need not be done in hospital, and need not take very long.

    I think the most important part of the assessment is whether the doctor is satisfied as to whether his patient understands what s/he is doing in making the LPOA itself.

    I suspect the practice manager may be the best person to approach at first as I think the fee is for a private consultation rather than the signature, but it's best knowing what is being paid for.

    My perception from their cases and other cases is that capacity tends to be assumed unless the patient clearly lacks it. A friend's mother with a clear diagnosis of a progressive dementia is still considered to have mental capacity so the LPOA is unusable and all that's left is persuasion by her family.

    When it somes to making the LPOA, if there is one doctor's certificate only one, and not five other people have to be formally notified by the Office of the Public Guardian when the LPOA is registered. If there are two doctors' certificates no-one external needs to receive a formal letter giving them three weeks to object. It was recently taking the OPG fourteen weeks to register, so the second certificate may be worth the extra cost in terms of three weeks saved. Does your mother know two GP's at her practice reasonably well?

    I'm no lawyer but I think what I've said is correct. Also, I may have been fortunate, but practice managers have seemed helpful and well-informed.

  14. Fred Flintstone

    Fred Flintstone Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    S. E. England
    It's a medico-legal decision, but it's the doctor's lawyer who is advising the doctor what the law requires, presumably through his professional body and/or the Medical Defence Union (or similar), and not the patient's lawyer. The different lawyers have different clients, remember.

    I think it's for a doctor rather than a lawyer to make an assessmant, and a letter from a GP who knows the patient, and has access to all the patients past medical records and specialists reports is considered a gold standard.

    I'd suggest a word with the GP's practice manager is in order.
  15. sam1972

    sam1972 Registered User

    Sep 13, 2013
    My husband's family got poa for their mum after she got the ad diagnosis. My advice would be, make sure whoever has the poa is actually willing to take some control for finances and welfare as we are in a situation where the poa doesn't have time to sort things out so we are still struggling through. You may be able to ask your relative to write to the gp saying they are happy for the gp to speak with you
  16. Teanosugar

    Teanosugar Registered User

    Apr 28, 2012
    Got PoA

    Got both PoAs a few weeks before dad went into a big decline. Paid £600 for both and they did not charge the fees extra for registering as dad in receipt of pension credit and housing benefit. We did however have to name a person who was contacted in the family to see if any objections so choose that person wisely, somebody who understands the need and who will support you in this. I am an only child so chose my cousin who has seen dads decline himself. Just a formality but you need to have a person in mind (and check they ok with this) before you go.

    Good luck, we were lucky because within a couple of months dad would not have been able to give his consent so suggest you dont wait as decline can be sudden.
  17. redbaron

    redbaron Registered User

    Aug 13, 2014
    Is this the usual case that the doctor does not want to get involved with being a second certificate holder for an LPA application?
  18. Fred Flintstone

    Fred Flintstone Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    S. E. England
    #18 Fred Flintstone, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
    I don't know exactly what question was asked and what the reply was - but if a doctor felt he was being asked for legal advice, then he would refer you to a solicitor. I can only think that's what's happened in this case.

    If, however, you asked him/her whether s/he would provide a certificate on a lasting power of attorney confirming that the donor had mental capacity then I think it is certain that s/he would make an assessment and if s/he decided that the donor had capacity then s/he would certify it.

    • One medical certificate, and only one person has to be informed by the Office of the Public Guardian, and given three weeks to object.
    • Two medical certificates, from two medical practitioners, and no-one will be approached by the Office.
    • When there is no medical certificate, then five people have to be written to by the Office, all having three weeks to make a written objection.

    I'm no lawyer, but I believe I am correctly summing up legal advice I've been given.
  19. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    For an LPA with one certificate provider there has to be at least one 'person to be told', with two certificate providers there is no requirement for any 'people to be told'. In both cases a maximum of 5 'people to be told' may be nominated.
  20. redbaron

    redbaron Registered User

    Aug 13, 2014
    This LPA application is turning into a nightmare! The rest of the family do not want the LPA to go ahead and are stating that a LPA is a worthless thing to have, and if I go ahead with the LPA (please note that my mother still wants to go ahead with the LPA) they will oppose the application. This is the first time that the family have shown any type of interest or concerns to my mother's welfare.

    I have handled my mother's financial affairs for a number of years and never had any complaints up until now. I am now finding it so difficult without an LPA in place, my mother is now unable to sign any letters due to her eyesight deterioration and the simplest thing like trying to change her bank information (address change), Royal Mail mail redirection and many other organisations is impossible.

    I am solely responsible with her debts because I have been made DWP appointee and I am responsible for handling the Care Home fees and debts. I have no problem with this but I am concerned that I do not have financial control because the family are always trying to access mum's bank account and I will be responsible for any debts that may occur in the future.

    This is why I believe the solicitor is requesting a second certificate from the doctor which will strengthen the LPA application.

    Fred Flintstone you state that "Two medical certificates, from two medical practitioners, and no-one will be approached by the Office"

    The solicitor is acting to be one certificate holder and my mum's GP is the other, is this the same and acts has two medical certificates?

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.