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Everlasting power of attorney queery

Fforest23

New member
Dec 15, 2019
8
0
Hi
I’m new to the group so apologies for any mistakes. My Dad is 91 and has recently been admitted to a care home with dementia. Briefly he has been married 4 times and I do not get on with his his current wife and her children. The question of care fees has cropped up and social services have apparently told his wife that he should remain in the care home but they haven’t come to an agreement on how much they will contribute to it.
A couple of months ago I asked his wife if she had POA and she shouted at me that she didn’t need it, she was his wife and she was still here!!! I knew there was a difference between next of kin and POA but kept my mouth shut!!
Anyway things moved on and I have been able to keep my mouth shut for the sake of my Dad who now has some good days and some bad days, but I don’t think he has enough capacity to agree to a POA currently.
On Friday I had a text message from my step sister telling me that in 1997 when they made their will they had also signed an everlasting power of attorney and that Dad had signed to allow his wife and also his step daughter to act on his behalf if needed.
She then told me that she had forgotten all about it and that the EPOA had never been registered with the Court Of Protection, she said they needed to do this without delay as his wife needed to complete a financial assessment for the social services to determine the share of care fees.
She sent me a photograph of the document which does show what she claimed. She told me that the law had changed now to LPOA and that she needed me and my 4 children to sign a form agreeing to them being able to have POA over my Dads finances.
I couldn’t understand this at all as it had just suddenly appeared and has never been mentioned before!!
I am his only biological child, and because of historical incidents have no trust in his wife or her children.
So my questions are:-
1. Why do they need my and my children’s signatures on forms which appear to me to be application for LPOA when they already have it on a document made in 1997.
2. Is the 1997 document even still legal without having been registered with the court of protection and also the document has the incorrect address - it refers to No.1 and their house is No.27 it also claims the step daughter was also living there when at that time she was teaching in London.
I have informed my step sister that neither I or my children are signing any legal document without knowing 100% it’s implications, she has not replied since - other than to say her mother does not need our permission to handle dads finances but there must be some reason they want us to sign these forms surely? I might just be a little paranoid here but we are talking about a lady who deliberately put a password on at the hospital to prevent me or his grandchildren from asking about his progress., but is now emphatically denying it despite me checking with the hospital who arranged the password and why? She claims the hospital made her do it because they said I kept phoning and my attitude was obnoxious, when I never had a cross word with any of the staff there, and this person also left me two vile aggressive voicemails which I still have.
I’ve said she doesn’t need our consent to complete the financial assessment for social services. She is still insisting we sign these forms and I cannot think why we need to. I don’t deny that his wife was a natural choice for the EPOA but I do object to her daughter having it as well because she has history of not being able to manage money and my Dad has bailed her out numerous times.
Am I just being paranoid here or is this just common practice? I could do with a quick response please or they will be asking me again tomorrow!!
Thanks for any help or guidance you may be able to offer us, it will be very much appreciated, and sorry for the length of this post.
 

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,766
0
There are some very knowledgeable people on this site who will be able to help.

My devious BiL obtained LPA for my mum by tricking her into signing.

That's another story, but I wanted to say that OH was in hospital last year and hospital admin wanted to 'password protect' access to him.
I said I thought it wasn't necessary, but the hospital insisted, so communication was restricted to myself and our daughter's.
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
7,747
0
Bristol
That is a complicated problem and families always manage to complicate matters. Sorry there's not much I can offer, but maybe someone will have ideas. For what it is worth the Office of the Public Guardian have a phone number and email address where you can get good advice. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-of-the-public-guardian has the details. The dementia connect line is also good for free advice and https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/dementiaconnect has the numbers to call.
Good luck.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
22,318
0
North Manchester
The EPA (enduring power of attorney) can be registered with the OPG, unlike LPAs they cannot be registered whilst the donor retains capacity, the attorney has a duty to register the EPA when they consider the donor has lost, or is loosing, capacity. An unregisteed EPA can be used up to that point
The change of address should be notified in a note in sent in with the registration documents.
If your dad has capacity and wishes to change the attorney he should make a deed of revocation to be kept with the unregistered EPA, not sent to OPG
and then grant an LPA
 

JC51

Registered User
Jan 5, 2021
120
0
You don't have to sign anything. If the LPA was done by your dad and his wife and your step-sister and they are named as his attorneys, and it's all been signed then that's it. It would have been up to your dad to say who he wanted, and if you aren't named on it then it's up to them to sort it out.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
22,318
0
North Manchester
When an EPA is registered there is a list of people who have to be informed who can then object on factual grounds.
The list can become very big
 

Fforest23

New member
Dec 15, 2019
8
0
Thanks everyone for the advice, one last question I understand the comment above that the EPOA can be dormant until there are signs of loss of capacity but who will decide if he has lost capacity or not, I was informed by the care home that my Mil is placed with that a solicitor needs to come and see them and agree that they have enough capacity to know what they’re signing and agreeing to but I don’t think my Dad has enough capacity to understand this now, my concern is that his step daughter plans to visit him tomorrow and take forms for him to sign!! I’m absolutely sure he was manipulated to sign the EPOA in the first place, and would hope that they don’t do it again, does it have to be witnessed by someone else and do you think I should mention the problem to the manager of the care home?
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
22,318
0
North Manchester
An EPA attorney can decide that your dad is loosing capacity and register the EPA. As stated in previous post there are safeguards.

If there is doubt about his capacity to revoke the EPA and grant an LPA a more formal assessment of his capacity would be sensible given that there appears to be some contention.

 

Fforest23

New member
Dec 15, 2019
8
0
Another thing I’ve just thought of is what happens if his wife dies before him? Does that mean that my step sister would then have sole control of his finances?
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
22,318
0
North Manchester
If they are acting as joint and several - yes.

If they are acting as joint - no, the power lapses as all joint attorneys cannot act
.
Depending on Dad's capacity either an LPA will have to be granted or a COP deputyship applied for.

@Fforest23
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,374
0
High Peak
First, the hospital password - all hospitals seem to do this and prefer to speak only to one family member. That assumes that family members are friendly and will communicate any news but as you know, this doesn't always happen!

I had an EPA for my mum (jointly with my brother) and when she suddenly lost capacity we had to register it. We also had to inform my children - they would have been the only other people with a possible interest in mum's finances.

You've said you are happy for your dad's wife to have EPA but not the dodgy sister. Unfortunately, she's named on the EPA too so there is nothing you can do about that now. And you are right to be concerned that if your step mother dies, the sister would have control of the finances.

I honestly don't think there is anything you can do now your father has lost capacity. If you suspected wrong-doing, you could contact the OPG but such things are very difficult to prove. Might be a good idea to remind step mum and the dodgy sister that attorneys are not permitted to benefit from the EPA in any way and make it clear you will be keeping a close eye on things. (but it's an idle threat really as you don't have access to his bank accounts so won't really know what is going on.)

On the other hand, if you feel really strongly, you could refuse to sign the EPA and suggest instead that a deputyship is applied for.