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    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

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EPA - accounting for cash?

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Tender Face, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. janishere

    janishere Guest

    Money and Control Freakery The Order of the Day

    Don't let noelphobic scare you. They say we are living in a free country (questionable). We actually do still have the right though to "deprive ourselves of our assets" exactly as we wish, whether we are suffering from Alzheimer's Disease or no. Consciously or otherwise, noelphobic, you are referring to the HASSASSA legislation when you mention "deprivation of assets". HASSASSA is an appalling piece of legislation, which has made a significant dent in our property rights, but fortunately it is limited in its effect (it's all a bit technical - there is a six months time limit).

    Don't forget that if a person with AD "deprives" themselves of their assets, the HASSASSA legislation does not make this a crime. And the local authority cannot even refuse care to a person who has given away their assets. The only thing the local authority can do is take the poor ill person to a civil court to try to recover the money. Imagine how that looks in the newspapers. Yet it is true, some local authorities don't mind bad publicity and are taking such court action, even several years after the person gave their property to their relatives. Dorsetshire County Council for one (case of ex parte Beeston) But it is quite rare. I don't recall if Dorset won the case, I must look it up sometime.

    As to someone handing out wads of cash to people in the streets, yes a lot of us would "take action" i.e. accept it and say "thanks very much":)

    Just what anyway noelphobic makes you think you might have the right to infringe someone's liberties and rights in that way? There is no law I know of in this country anyway to stop a person doing what they like with their money. It sounds like you think there ought to be one though!

    Remember Jesus in the House of the Pharisees? tipping over the tables with all the money on them in the temple? Nowadays, I guess Christ would have been sectioned under the Mental Health legislation by the NHS for doing that and labelled insane. I seem to remember he was not all that popular afterwards, he ended up by being crucified! Plus ca change.

    And you would have supported such action by the sound of it.

    In truth Jesus was protesting about money being the god of society in those times and it seems it's no different now. So destroying money, then as now, seems like an act of madness to sick minds.

    I also think your attitude towards those with dementia is condescending - i.e. their judgement is "impaired". Until people with AD reach the final stages, most are perfectly able to make good decisions, in fact the law even recognises this by allowing them to make a valid Enduring Power of Attorney.
  2. Gromit

    Gromit Registered User

    Apr 3, 2006

    Just found this on the government website: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HealthAndWellBeing/HealthServices/CareHomes/DG_10031523

    "It is against the law to transfer ownership of an asset to another person specifically to avoid paying your care home fees. The law states that if you've transferred an asset to another person within the six months before you get a place in a care home, your local council can make you pay your care home fees."

    Now given my Dad is in very early stages and we have every intention of keeping at home for as long as possible (which I would hope would be much longer than 7 years fingers crossed) - would we be able to transfer the property now? I see no reason why Mum shouldn't be around for many years yet - so she will want to keep her home. Also, she may want to downsize in the future if Dad needs to go into care.

    Its all so confusing!

    In addition I found this on the PGO website:

    "Please note that PGO staff are not legally qualified and therefore cannot provide legal advice"

    I wonder if the advice of £50 per week "pocket money" actually matters then?

    Hope the above helps.

  3. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    I am not trying to scare anyone at all and I resent the implication that I am! As far as someone handing out wads of cash in the street - yes if that was someone close to me I would try to stop them doing so if I thought they were doing this because of their illness! I would also try to alert someone if a stranger was doing this and I thought they were ill and that was the reason why they were doing so.

    I am not trying to infringe anyone's liberties and rights, far from it! I am amazed that you seem to believe that you know what I am thinking because that is far from being the case.

    I am sorry that you think my attitude to those with dementia is condescending. I could say more about that but won't as I am far too polite.

  4. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    In my own opinion, i find janisheres attitude to the carers who post on TP and have for quite a while to be more condecsending.
    And i stand by what i previously wrote that i do find your comments to be highly offensive, intended or not!!!
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear me, Janis,

    Is it so important for you to be heard? If so, and you want your message to hit home, you are going about it in a very aggressive manner, if you don`t mind me saying so.

    If you have something important to say, and I suspect you have, wouldn`t it be better all round if you calmed down and used less emotive language.
  6. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent

    There does seem to be a number of conflicting views on this one. I was told by the person who deals with all the finances at mum’s NH that it’s mum’s money she can do what she likes with it until it runs out.

    We currently have her home on the market to pay for her NH fees in full when it is sold. The money from the sale of her house will last her about 4 years if she does not spend one bean on herself during this time. Currently Social Services are paying (although mum contributes £100 + per week from her state pension). When her home is sold, we will have to pay back the amount that Social Services have paid on her behalf until the time of the house sale, and she will continue to pay the full lot until all her money has gone. Aside from her home, mum has little in the way of savings, and no private pension.

    When mum moved to the NH she took most of her furniture with her from her home. However, she needed a new bed, bedding etc., and as she had lost an amazing amount of weight, we bought a whole load of new clothing for her. We used her money, but we kept receipts.

    Also we firmly believe that mum was never assessed correctly in terms of NHS funding. We got so p……d off with dealing with the bureaucrats that we (my bro and I) handed the whole lot over to a solicitor who specialises in these sorts of cases, we will be paying their fees out of mums money. I feel that if we can save her a few thousand in NH fees by paying a solicitor a few hundred, it’s her money, why not. I have to say, whilst we never had calls returned, letters replied to, my goodness, since passing it all over to the solicitor, ‘they’ the bureaucrats are jumping through hoops, buts that’s another story. I honestly feel we are on a high road to nowhere on this one, but felt mum deserved the best crack at it possible.

    I have just one question. Mum has just two grandchildren, one being my son. She always said, and still does, that when he got married she would give him a ‘sizeable amount’ towards the wedding. Nothing like forward planning, wedding now set for 2009!! My brother has the EPA, (I was ‘toast’ on the day of signing, which is another story). My question is: can she still give my son a couple of thousand towards the wedding, (as she still wants to do), or could this be clawed back at some later date by whoever? What is the general position about ‘gifts’. Mum always bought us Christmas / birthday gifts, since she went to the NH, we have bought our own from her. Whilst I have no problem at all spending her money on her, I have been a tat nervous of spending her money on anything else e.g. family.

    Brenda, I had in mind this 7 year rule, and as mum is 89 next month, and has AD!!!

  7. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    Just to clear up one or two points:

    As someone has already pointed out the 7 year rule relates to Inheritance tax and not to deprivation of assets when assessing care home fees. (This seems to be a common misconception - not sure where it comes from).

    My understanding is that if a person makes a gift e.g of their property and then goes in to a care home within 6 months of the gift, it is presumed (a rebuttable presumption) that they have deprived themselves of assets to avoid paying care home fees. If however the gift was more than 6 months before going into a care home the Local Authority then has to prove that the person has deprived themselves of assets. In other words after 6 months the burden of proof shifts from the individual having to prove that they have not deliberately deprived themselves of assets to the Local Authority having to prove that they did.

    We have had a couple of cases where the LA has challenged a gift made more than 6 months before going into care and the LA lost on both occasions. (These cases were some time ago and it may be that the LA's have given up on this one).

    Another option for the LA is to make the person bankrupt. This allows them to challenge any disposition at undervalue up to 5 years before the bankruptcy. I know one LA (can't remember which) did this some time ago. The horrendous publicity they got for hauling an elderly person through the bankruptcy courts means that this is not a vote winner, but technically they can still do this.

    Basically the advice would be if you are thinking along these lines the sooner you do it the better. Same goes for an EPA.

  8. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Sue thanks for that info, but have you any idea what the position is on smallish cash gifts

  9. pammy14

    pammy14 Registered User

    Dec 5, 2005
    I have neverr had a problem with POA for my sister, who as you may know is now very poorly in hospital not expected to come out, but it wasn't registered don't know if it should be but nobody told me to so plead ignorance to that..

    She put her house in our namesand we sold it a couplem of years ago didn' t want the care homes to get that.

    With her money we gave substantial amounts away as she would have wanted and used her pension towards living expenses gifts she gave for birthdays clothes etc.

    She was always so adamant that her family would benefit and no-one else.

    Sadly she will not now have to ask for help for the payment of home fees as she never got down to £20.000 but we would definitely have applied.

    In the home she was in the care to to those on benefit is just the same as the ones who pay. so why not do whatever you think they would like to do with their own money.

    i intend to do the same with mine, give it to my kids incliding the house.

    That if there is anything left.
  10. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    I've stayed out of this argument so far, because I care for my husband, and as everything we own is shared, I know nothing of the matters in dispute.

    However, there are one or two issues I would like to address:

    I think you are making moral judgements janishere. I really don't think many of us would do this, if we saw someone who was clearly ill acting in this manner. We are carers, for goodness sake.

    This is unnecessarily offensive, janishere. In those circumstances, I would be very careful when handling other people's money, and as I am not a legal expert, I would be happy to take advice. Accountability is the operative word.

    Personal attacks are not wanted or needed on TP, we are all doing our best.

    This is a gross generalisation. My husband has been incapable of handling money since the early stages of the disease.

    I don't think any solicitor would allow anyone in the final stages of dementia to grant an EPA.

    Please try to be more moderate in your posts, janishere. We all value discussion, and learn from the differences of opinion. But offensive and personal attacks are not acceptable.
  11. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs

    Thanks for that Nada. I am trying not to give specific legal advice whilst at the same time wanting to help from my experiences. The thing to remember is that every case is different and so I am trying to be general.

    Cate, I was just looking at your point and then had to race off as my Mum phoned to say that when she got home my Dad (and the dog!) were missing. I found my Dad waiting for my Mum outside a well known store's Collect By Car as he does every Friday. She says she told him she wasn't going today. He says 'well, she might have bloomin' well told me'. No harm done :D

    As your bro is acting under an EPA (is that right?) these are self regualting to a certain extent. Once they are registered with the PGO they allow you to get on with it unless they are asked by a third party to investigate. An attorney is of course under a duty to act in the Donor's best interests.

    Nada, hope the above is OK:)
  12. janishere

    janishere Guest

    From memory, even if the LA can persuade the court to make the elderly person bankrupt, it has a significant hurdle to cross before it can challenge dispositions up to 5 years before the bankruptcy. Namely, it has to show that the person was insolvent or that they expected to become insolvent when they made the disposition. If the person was solvent at the time of the disposition, it would not be easy to prove they knew they would become insolvent.

    What do you say to this Sue38?
  13. Splat88

    Splat88 Registered User

    Jul 13, 2005
    I'd just like to say I'm really grateful for everyone's point of view, and as with "ordinary" life you have to make your own value judgements about who comes closest to your views.

    I can understand some of Janishere's vehemence, and I think all of us are able to sound callous, subservient etc as you cannot imply tone on the forum.

    I wouldn't like anyone dealing with this awful situation to feel they cannot express their thoughts, even if I don't agree with them.

    On another note, we've had our EPA since 2004, and wonder how easy it would be to change to the new one regarding personal care? Mary still has capacity I suppose, and to add another bone of contention, I have to use some of her income and savings to enable us to stay in the house we bought to accomodate her as well.
  14. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Dear Cate

    I know it's not the same thing. but I would be inclined to go along with the guidelines that are given re wedding gifts and inheritance tax. That is, a gift of up to £2500 on the wedding or civil partnership of a grandchild is acceptable.

    The EPA booklet says this

    Can attorneys make gifts from my money?
    They can make limited gifts, as long as there is no restriction in the EPA preventing this. They can make seasonal gifts (for example, Christmas presents), or gifts on anniversaries, births or marriages/civil partnership, to people who are related to or connected with you. But the value of the gift must be reasonable compared to everything you own.

    "Until people with AD reach the final stages, most are perfectly able to make good decisions, in fact the law even recognises this by allowing them to make a valid Enduring Power of Attorney."

    I'm not quite sure where you've got this idea from, but I would strongly suggest that no one wait until the late stages to make an EPA. Do you actually know someone in the late stages of AD that would be considered legally competant to make this kind of disposal? I don't.

    Look, I think you have a valid point about us running scared, but scary is what dementia is. However, I strongly resent being characterised as a "brainwashed zombie" and if the supportive attitude that this board exemplifies causes you to be nauseated, that is your loss.

  15. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex

    The vast majority of us on this forum are here to support each other, we all have different viewpoints from time to time, surely we need to respect the other persons opinions without making sweeping judgements.

    I find your aggressive attacking manner highly offensive, please think before you press the submit reply button.

    What have the submitters to this post ever done to you to make you feel so angry?

  16. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Sue and Jennifer,

    Thank you so very much for your comments, most useful. Just when I think I've got my head around this lot, another question comes along.

    Thanks both.

    Cate xx

    PS Sue glad you found dad OK, another heart stopping moment hey.
  17. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Well I’m sorry, Michael, but I’m not tough nor dispassionate … I'll willingly admit to a further 'fault' - that I have clearly been cursed with a conscience which screams ‘guilty before proven innocent’ ….

    Janishere, if people didn’t need to constantly ‘refer to others’ for advice then we might as well forget TP …

    What has saddened me most about this thread - apart from being made personally to feel like a blithering idiot and wondering whether I dare ever pose a question again for fear of being ’judged’ for my stupidity, lack of moral fibre or personal strength or anything else - is that simply the sharing of questions can be so helpful to so many …. there is a lot of very useful information and idea and problem sharing being lost in this thread …

    I can’t believe what a furore a question over EPA can provoke. I - as I am sure many others - have far more pressing things to worry about today …. So forgive me if I stir up a hornets’ nest but why so much emotion on this topic, Janishere?

    All I’d hoped from starting this thread was that someone may have been in a similar position and could throw some ideas out to me as to how they have dealt with it …. And no I’m not one to blindly follow where others have gone before ….. When I am in one of my less ‘zombiefied’ states I like to think I am receptive to listening to others’ ideas and experiences and taking from those what might be relevant to me ….. what I’ve always believed the culture of TP was all about …

  18. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    Well, Janishere, what I say is that I purposely used the phrase up to 5 years as in most cases the time period is 2 years but this can be up to 5 years if as you quite rightly say, the donor was insolvent at the time of the gift or became insolvent as a result of the gift. Insolvent is defined as being unable to pay debts as they fall due, or, the value of his/her assets is less than the amount of his/her liabilities, taking into account his/her contingent and prospective liabilities.

    I have re-read the relevant sections of the Insolvency Act 1986 and the donor is presumed to have been insolvent at the time or as a result of the gift, if the gift was to an associate. The terms associate includes spouses. Again this is a rebuttable presumption.

    Do any of you who are still awake need a headache tablet?

    That was why I used the general phrase 'up to 5 years' as I thought the above was a bit technical. Please don't think I am patronising anybody or assuming they are, what was the phrase? Brainless zombies?;)

  19. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    Glad you cleared that one up sue:eek:
  20. janishere

    janishere Guest

    what is the situation for up to 2 years re bankruptcy Sue?

    Gawd help us, there is a marked lack of a sense of humour on this forum:D haven't you noticed people reading this? i.e. you, the 180-220 people reading this who do not post not the 10 or 20 who do and accuse me while indulging in bullying behaviour - Margarita and Michael my only supporters against the AS mafia

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