EPA and its validity

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by gillybean, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. gillybean

    gillybean Registered User

    Jan 17, 2007
    Hi Newbie here so bear with me!

    Looking at the website it seemed a good idea to set up a EPA for my Dad who was diagnosed on 3rd Jan. A solictor has called tonight to re-do their wills and one of the things I wanted to address was the EPA.

    He seemed to think it a good idea to download one off the guardianship website and stated that with my Dads bank I'd be wasting my time as he'd had a phone call from a client stating the very same bank wouldn't accept an EPA.

    I don't know what to do, also he said that the law will change in April...

    He said he would charge £60 to set it up compared to if I got my own form and got another solicitor to witness it, but this would involve taking Dad with me to another solicitor and this would confuse/complicate matters further even though Dad agreed for me and mum to be EPA's tonight.

    Any advice appreciated I don't know what to do, taking legal advice has consused me further.
  2. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    Hi Gillybean
    Sorry I'm not really up on EPAs as my brother holds one for mum.....I do know that he got it done at the solicitors when my dads will was read to us. You will get advice on this soon as many members have been through it
    Just wanted to welcome you to TP
    Love Wendy x
  3. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire
    I would say get another lawyer or a second opinion.
    What about C.A.B.?
    Or phone the alzheimers help line.
  4. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Gillybean

    Welcome to TP, you have come to the right place for advice and support 24/7.

    I am by no means and expert on EPA, my mums solicitor did it for her...........been with the firm donkeys years so he didn't charge..............I know there are a lot of TP friends out there who will be along shortly with loads of good advice for you.

    On the subject of banks.........there are the good, the OK, and the down right dreadful:eek: , HSBC being one of the latter.........but we got there in the end....I have heard that Barclays are about one of the best............mum and dad might benefit from a change in bank..........again, I'm sure lots of people will help you with this one.

    Just really wanted to say hello and welcome.

    Best wishes
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Gillybean

    Just wanted to welcome you to TP.

    I've got an EPA for my husband, and I used a solicitor, but I can't give you any further advice, because the law is different in Scotland. You will find plenty of people on TP who will be able to advise you.
  6. gillybean

    gillybean Registered User

    Jan 17, 2007
    Thank you all so much for your welcomes, I was astounded how fast you all replied!

    I just think it's a minefield out there, what prompted me for the EPA was just a routine call to an energy supplier to try and negotiage their direct debits, unfortunately everything seems to be in Dad's name and I feel a bit overwhelmed at the moment I feel I have so much to do.

    Thanks for your support!
  7. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    Hi Gillybean
    Keep watching TP because you will get advice on anything and everything.....
    It is extremely overwhelming in the beginning......trying to come to terms with everything.....but theres always a friendly ear on here:)
    Take care
    Love Wendy x
  8. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    Downloading the EPA forms from Guardianship website is essential and easy

    Its vital that you get your Father to sign it in front of a witness FAST

    then send it off to be registered

    EVERY bank MUST accept a Registered EPA

    Meanwhile i have found that Utility companies have no trouble accepting you have an EPA when you tell them and they will accept direct debit instructions from you if you can give them bank account details

    Far too many people leave getting an EPA too late or actioning it too late

    Dont wait ACT its very easy

    The new EPA due in April will be a minefield of problems do not wait for that
  9. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    An EPA does not have to be witnessed by a solicitor.
  10. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    It doesnt matter who witnesses it but in our case a solicitor did as my Aunt was comfortable with him and his advice. We successfully used the unregistered version for a long time - though different banks had different levels of experience and operated in different ways. eg Abbey National barely looked at it but HSBC had to refer constantly to help calls for support and confirmation at every step.

    The unregistered version only allows you to work WITH the donor eg as another signatory but we were able to transfer funds between accounts and close accounts just as though we were the account holder. The donor retains the right to continue as before. It was invaluable while we were trying to sort out and consolidate her affairs.

    We had to register it when we reached the threshold of knowing my Aunt was becoming or no longer capable of handling her affairs. This was really the hardest part for us - the emotional bit - and probably we left it later than we should have however by then she was in a sa fe place and not at risk from unscrupulous individuals and actually was incapable of signing anything. At this point the registered version (stamped by the COP) had to be presented to each institution again and my Aunt was then noted as no longer being a signatory etc.

    It would be EXTREMELY important for this step to be taken if the donor was going to be in a situation where they coul make mistakes or be taken advantage of.

    Don't be frightened of it, it is a very simple process, you just have to persist with some institutions as you will discover you know more about it than they do!

    Good luck
  11. Splat88

    Splat88 Registered User

    Jul 13, 2005
    Hmm, so what's changing in April? We ( hubbie and me) have a joint EPA, which we have used quite easily on our own so far. We had this set up by a solicitor as Mary changed her will at the same time.
    MIL is capable of signing etc, but if you asked her she doesn't think she has any money. How do we decide when it needs registering? If I tell her just how much she has, she suggests we go and spend it all!!! ( We don't of course, as there is another son who gets half in the will. Mind you, since she hasn't seen him in over 5 years, she is less than charitable towards him, and often suggests we spend it all before she goes!!!! )
    She does understand when told about the money, though she never knows where it all came from. The solicitor was very careful to make sure she knew the value of money before he did the EPA.
    She lives with us, so there's no bills etc in her name, it is purely pension, savings etc.
    The solicitor advised us not to take any money off her, as when we both sold our houses to buy the bigger house for us all to move in together, she loaned us money, which according to her will is voided on her death. Not sure that's the best thing if she needs to go into care, she has over £40,000 plus the £150,000 she loaned us to buy the house.
  12. gillybean

    gillybean Registered User

    Jan 17, 2007
    Can anyone (ie could me and Mum act as witnesses for each other to be EPA's?

    Why is it accepted if it's not registered

    The solicitor asked me to ask HSBC who they would accept a EPA from as in his experience they wouldn't accept one from his client and lastly.....what are the changes in April?
  13. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    It is such an important document that personally I would feel very uncomfortable if I had tried to short cut the options over witnessing etc. I cannot say it is wrong but if Mum and I had done it together I would have worried over someone maybe being able to challenge it later on. As an attorney I feel you need to be squeaky clean!

    As I said before HSBC were bloomin awkward to say the least but they did accept the unregistered version - it just took a long time. Unregistered it is merely a way of adding another person to use the account. Registered it removes the donors right to act on their own behalf.
  14. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    You cannot sign for the other attorneys. The witness has to be someone who is neither giving nor receiving the power of attorney, so you need a third party.

    I don't see how HSBC can refuse to accept an EPA if it is all legal and above board, especially if it is registered.
  15. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    HSBC cannot refuse to accept and act on the EPA
    If they do you can complain to Financial ombudsman who will come down on them like a ton of bricks

    But until you register the EPA theres lots of things you cant do and the patient could still reek havoc with their finances

    The very 1st thing that gets damaged in any form of dementia is ability to deal with money/accounts

    I am still finding messes 4 months after my Mother died and 9 months after i enacted the EPA
  16. gillybean

    gillybean Registered User

    Jan 17, 2007
    I have discovered that Dad had an EPA arranged when they made out wills, (another story at the moment I think that's another thread) it hasn't been registered, I have to ask his consultant for advice on when to register.

    Apparantly HSBC can freeze the account if they get wind of any problems and I can't risk that as Mum doesn't have a bank account and all their DD's and pensions go into there so if they froze that it would be a big problem. Mum goes with Dad and his card and helps him retrieve money. I wondered about them asking it to be made into a joint account but questions would be asked and then I think should Mum open an account and we close this one, then more questions asked, just where do you go for help here?

    Another complocation is Mum genuinely wants to give me money to help with our house renovations but that could be construed as deprivation of assetts if they're joinly assessed by the LA so we're all in a mess now!

    It was 3am when I looked at the clock this morning and my daughter not having the attention she deserves, I'm finding the whole thing a bit overwhelming with the wills, finance and everything....
  17. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Gillybean,
    You do not say how unwell dad is - if a solicitor considers that he is still well enough to make a new will, then he must still be well enough to make banking decisions - so he could open an account in joint names with mum to pay household bills etc. If there is already a POA that could be taken to a new bank, the situation explained that Alzheimers is a progressive illness, and that mum and dad are trying to plan for the future - see if another bank is prepared to open an account on this basis. I think it would be worth you phoning the Alzheimers helpline - they have an advisor who would be able to help you.
    Love Helen
  18. gillybean

    gillybean Registered User

    Jan 17, 2007
    Thanks Helen

    My Dad is at the early/middle stages but the diagnosis (and the consultant still doesn't think we've bottomed it yet) has taken 2 years.

    He has good and bad days but added to which he has a paryslysed vocal chord so cannot speak above a whisper so communication is a problem.

    I have made tentative enquiries this morning with HSBC they said it would be simple to make into a joint account. This I guess would save me the hassle of all their DD's etc. Problem is all the ID she'd need she doesn't have ie driving licence passport etc added to which all the utilities are in Dad's name.

    It all depends what sort of day dad is having and how the brand would view matters. bit of a risk but as I'm already a nominee on the account that will help hopefully.

    Thanks for your support
  19. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    Ronda Spain
    Just had a look at the HSBC web site and the following are all acceptable for identification and address verification

    Acceptable examples:

    PAYE Coding Notice
    HMRC Notification of Working Family Tax Credit
    HMRC Notification of Childrens Tax Credit
    HMRC Notification of Disabled Persons Tax Credit
    HMRC Tax Calculation.

    I can see that it is a bit of a nightmare but maybe the Tax Calulation is the way to go...

    On the other hand - registering the EPA is probably easier and the HSBC is required to accept it.
  20. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Word of caution:

    If you need to put any accounts into joint names...........this cannot be done after registration. I left just one account in Lionel's sole name.................have never been able to alter this.

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