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Expert Q&A: Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – Thursday 27 Sept, 3-4pm

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tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
644
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Never let a family member or friend be appointed as an Attorney for an LPA is what I would advise if there is quite a bit of money or a property involved. Unlike a COP financial deputyship, it is totally unregulated and very much open to abuse.

Having been in a terrible situation with my late Father whereby his Attorney for his LPA cleared out all his funds both during the last 7 months of his life and after his death (even though an LPA ceases after a persons death) including encashing shares, 3 hours after his death, I am personally of the opinion, that only a solicitor or bank should be able to be an Attorney. There are so many stories whereby unscrupulous family members have stolen money from a PWD and never been brought to task over it, as sadly, the police dont want to know if its a family member involved.

Five years on from my Fathers death, despite getting a forensic accountant to write a report supporting all my findings, as an Executor to my Fathers will, I have sadly never been able to enact out his wishes and give his money to his various beneficiaries. It's now cost me £20,000 of my own money fighting this in solicitors fees and accountant fees and still I have got nowhere as the Attorney believes all money is theirs despite a valid will having been in place saying otherwise. There is also a house involved so it is all very complicated. Be careful who you entrust. Its absolutely heartbreaking for me to still not have closure over my Fathers death because all this is hanging over me. He would be horrified. He was a hard working man and was comfortably well off and had a will in place and an LPA but sadly he was coerced into trusting the wrong people.
 
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HarrietD

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
6,882
0
London
Hi everyone,

Just to let you know that we've been experiencing technical issues in the office today. Replies to questions may be slower than usual, and our experts might not be able to answer all questions within the hour, but as many as possible will be answered in the time we have.

Bear with us :)

A reminder that the Q&A will be between 3-4pm today.

Harriet
 

heyday

Registered User
Sep 22, 2014
1
0
My partner appointed myself and our two children as his Attornies for both Finance and Health & Welfare after being
diagnosed with Alzheimers several years back, fully
registered with OPG. While it has been clear to family members for a long time that he is unable to deal with our strategic financial affairs, he remains very plausible to those outside the family. Recently he has shown interest in taking out equity release on the family home and commuting his pension to spend as much money as possible 'before it's too late' (he has a further serious health condition).
My question is who exactly should decide whether a person has capacity to take such decisions? Lawyers seem to think it's doctors, while doctors suggest a lawyer should be involved.
If the Attornies feel they are best-placed to make such decisions on his behalf, what steps would you advise them to take?
 

HarrietD

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
6,882
0
London
Hi everyone and welcome to today's Q&A on LPA :) Our experts, Helen and Flora, are here to answer your questions on this topic.

Please note that we'll be starting with the questions that have been sent in previously via email and this thread.

NB: Flora and Helen will try and help as best they can, but please be aware that they can't give legal or financial advice.
 
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FloraW

Registered User
Sep 25, 2018
16
0
Just saying hi! to everyone :) My name is Flora and I'm from our LPA Digital Assistance Service
 

Chloe3233

Registered User
Jul 28, 2017
21
0
Hi everyone and welcome to today's Q&A on LPA :) Our experts, Helen and Flora, are here to answer your questions on this topic.

NB: Flora and Helen will try and help as best they can, but please be aware that they can't give legal or financial advice.
 

HelenQ

Registered User
Feb 1, 2017
14
0
Never let a family member or friend be appointed as an Attorney for an LPA is what I would advise if there is quite a bit of money or a property involved. Unlike a COP financial deputyship, it is totally unregulated and very much open to abuse.

Having been in a terrible situation with my late Father whereby his Attorney for his LPA cleared out all his funds both during the last 7 months of his life and after his death (even though an LPA ceases after a persons death) including encashing shares, 3 hours after his death, I am personally of the opinion, that only a solicitor or bank should be able to be an Attorney. There are so many stories whereby unscrupulous family members have stolen money from a PWD and never been brought to task over it, as sadly, the police dont want to know if its a family member involved.

Five years on from my Fathers death, despite getting a forensic accountant to write a report supporting all my findings, as an Executor to my Fathers will, I have sadly never been able to enact out his wishes and give his money to his various beneficiaries. It's now cost me £20,000 of my own money fighting this in solicitors fees and accountant fees and still I have got nowhere as the Attorney believes all money is theirs despite a valid will having been in place saying otherwise. There is also a house involved so it is all very complicated. Be careful who you entrust. Its absolutely heartbreaking for me to still not have closure over my Fathers death because all this is hanging over me. He would be horrified. He was a hard working man and was comfortably well off and had a will in place and an LPA but sadly he was coerced into trusting the wrong people.

I am so sorry that this has been your experience.

As you say it is vitally important that if someone is making an LPA they choose someone that they trust to be the attorney as it is a very important document.

If someone has concerns about how an attorney is acting those can and should be reported to the OPG (who do regulate attorneys) and you can also consider making a safeguarding report to the local authority and involving the police.

I do appreciate it can be difficult for action to be taken.I would suggest legal advice but it seems you have taken that. I hope you find some resolution to this.
 

FloraW

Registered User
Sep 25, 2018
16
0
My question is kind of rhetorical since my parent has now passed away. However I would be interest in the reply, and it might also be of use to others who are dealing with a loved one who has dementia.
I held an unregistered EPA for several years, and registered it a few years after my parent was diagnosed with dementia, as was advised to do so by social services (although I know I didnt actually need a second opinion, it was pretty evident that my parent was becoming very confused where money was concerned).
To cut a long story short, all was going well, till I went away for a weekend, leaving parent in the care of just the four daily carers. On my return, another family member had all but moved in, and began a very vitriolic and sustained campaign to convince my parent that I had done something wrong with regard to the management of the EPA. I considered that I had done nothing wrong, had kept every receipt for everything purchased, and purchased everything with my parents consent (difficult, since some days they had more capacity than others!), including some purchases which were, to be honest, out of character (new sofas every year for instance) , but nevertheless my parent wanted to buy these things. I checked frequently with the OPG that I was doing the correct thing. I was told "yes"...


I am very sorry to hear all this. Being an attorney can sometimes be a very thankless task. At least you are clear in your own mind about the actions you took and can hold onto that.

If financial abuse is suspected that can always be reported to the local authority as a safeguarding matter and if the person is vulnerable the local authority have a duty to investigate. That’s under the Care Act 2014.

It is also possible to contact the police. Sometimes the police will be reluctant to get involved in family matters but if there is /are criminal offences being committed they should investigate.

There’s no harm in contacting the OPG even if taking action is beyond their remit. They are doing a lot of work joining up with local authority safeguarding teams and the police and they may be able to offer some signposts even if they can’t directly help. Their safeguarding team can be contacted on 0115 934 2777.
 

TeamGina

New member
Sep 21, 2018
2
0
Hi everyone and welcome to today's Q&A on LPA :) Our experts, Helen and Flora, are here to answer your questions on this topic.

NB: Flora and Helen will try and help as best they can, but please be aware that they can't give legal or financial advice.

How does the Q&A work, I was expecting a webinar (seems to be the 'thing' these days) but I can't see a link. Is it a case of knowledgeable people from the society answering the questions that have been posted in the forum?
 

FloraW

Registered User
Sep 25, 2018
16
0
On a roll with Questions....again hypothetical but must be relevant to some people.
Financial POA clearly gives Attorney power to act on behalf of the individual but how do you ensure organisation doesn't accept instructions from individual if they have lost capacity.
Do you have to provide copy of Welfare POA along with confirmation of incapacity to the organisations?

Good question. There isn’t really a “one size fits all” here. Different organisations have different approaches and remember there is always a presumption of capacity so unless there is something that calls capacity into question the organisation will normally rely on that and also on the attorney (who will or should know the person better) working with the person as appropriate.

It’s also worth remembering that a property and finance LPA can be used (unless it says otherwise) both while the person has capacity to make the decision in question and also when they don’t so really you are leaving it to the judgement of the attorney how they act (again subject to anything obvious to the contrary).

If there was ever concern about the person being subject to financial abuse then a referral could be made to social services and/or the OPG.

With a health and welfare LPA this can only be used where the person lacks capacity to make the relevant decision. There isn’t a requirement for a formal capacity assessment as a matter of course but often it will be used in a health and welfare context where professionals will be involved who may have their own views about capacity. If there is ever a dispute about capacity that would ultimately need to be resolved by the Court of Protection.

I hope this helps.
 

Chloe3233

Registered User
Jul 28, 2017
21
0
[QUOTE="Chloe3233, post: 1576705, hope everone gets the help they need
 
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HarrietD

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
6,882
0
London
How does the Q&A work, I was expecting a webinar (seems to be the 'thing' these days) but I can't see a link. Is it a case of knowledgeable people from the society answering the questions that have been posted in the forum?

Hi @TeamGina, the Q&A is happening live on this thread until 4pm. If you keep refreshing this page, new questions and answers should appear once our experts have had time to reply. I hope that helps but email talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk if you have any problems :)
 

HelenQ

Registered User
Feb 1, 2017
14
0
My partner appointed myself and our two children as his Attornies for both Finance and Health & Welfare after being
diagnosed with Alzheimers several years back, fully
registered with OPG. While it has been clear to family members for a long time that he is unable to deal with our strategic financial affairs, he remains very plausible to those outside the family. Recently he has shown interest in taking out equity release on the family home and commuting his pension to spend as much money as possible 'before it's too late' (he has a further serious health condition).
My question is who exactly should decide whether a person has capacity to take such decisions? Lawyers seem to think it's doctors, while doctors suggest a lawyer should be involved.
If the Attornies feel they are best-placed to make such decisions on his behalf, what steps would you advise them to take?


There is no straightforward answer to "who decides".Basically it will be whoever is involved in the decision that needs to be made by the person and because capacity is time and decision specific that will be different people at different times and for some decisions some people will be more appropriate than others.

In law there is a presumption of capacity but if you feel that your partner is not able to make certain decisions you can raise your concerns with other people involved. If we are talking about equity release or pension release there would normally be a solicitor or some legal process involved as a check that the person fully understands what they are doing and it is part of the code of conduct for solicitors that they should be alert to capacity issues and they should not act if they do not believe the person has the requisite capacity.

If there is any dispute about capacity that would ultimately need to be resolved by the Court of Protection
 

HelenQ

Registered User
Feb 1, 2017
14
0
First time hear not sure can my sunt take standing order to pay bills gas elec food ect as they live with deputy and bills are shared food would bought from this as well as shared bills
Hi.Sorry-there isn't enough information here to be able to provide a helpful reply. Can you send some more background please?
 

FloraW

Registered User
Sep 25, 2018
16
0
We have has the most terrible time since my mum who had dementia secretly gave POA to her friend and her husband. The husband was a very authoritative, dominant ex-police officer and mum would eventually be completely controlled by them. It's a very long story, they completely abused their powers for financial gain, even taking mum to the solicitors to change her will to completely disinherit all of her family. We did challenge the poas and mums consultant even wrote to the opg to say that these people were not suitable poas if they made an application. This was apparently received at the wrong time so it all went through without challenge. We only recently discovered much of the abuse after mums death. Could you suggest any specialist help we may be able to get or any way we can help campaign against elder abuse.
Thank you
Kristy

I am so sorry to hear about this. I don’t think there is any substitute here for some proper legal advice and would suggest Solicitors for the Elderly as a starting point as they have members who are familiar with these sorts of issues:-
https://sfe.legal/

You could also try the police as, although your mum has now died, it is not too late to unravel things and put them right. You will need to collect as much evidence as you can if you haven’t already.

You may also find it helpful to talk to Action on Elder abuse:- https://www.elderabuse.org.uk/

Their helpline is on 080 8808 8141.
 

FloraW

Registered User
Sep 25, 2018
16
0
Hi there. My question is more a point of advice, really. My mum has recently been diagnosed with dementia and we (me and my two siblings) are encouraging her to get LPA. She is generally reluctant as her dementia is presenting her with trust/delusion issues around money. On some days she seems more receptive; but then may forget she's been that way! Any advice on how (or who?) could encourage her to put the LPA in place? We believe she would currently be deemed fit to do so, as she's just had her will re-done and the solicitor was aware of the diagnosis. We have tried getting the solicitor to suggest it, but no luck as yet. Thank you.

This can be a common problem that comes up on our service for many reasons and often very painful for all parties involved. To start with, it is always important to bear in mind that after a recent diagnosis it can be hard for a person to feel open to putting things like LPAs in place. In the end, as it is her LPA it is important to allow her time and space to make her own decisions. As you’ve mentioned she is receptive at times, and it might just take a while to settle in.

When discussing making LPAs it may be useful to stress that the purpose of the form is to allow people to make decisions for you in the future, if, and only if, you can no longer make them yourself. It does not mean that from the moment you complete the forms your attorney takes over making decisions for you. It is something to put into to place specifically to make sure things are done as you would want them to, not for family members to dictate what you do. Try to empathise with your mum’s situation as much as you can and allow her to empathise with yours if she is able to: it may help to tell her a little bit about the emotions that come up for you around her getting an LPA. Remember, in the end it is your mum’s choice, and if you aren’t able to convince her, that’s not your fault.

If you ever want to talk this through in more depth we encourage you to get in touch with our National Dementia Helpline who can help you explore what’s going on and how you can manage the situation. Their number is: the number is 0300 222 1122. Their web info is here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/national-dementia-helpline
 

FloraW

Registered User
Sep 25, 2018
16
0
Is there reading I can do on this that is not online eg on the OPG site or here? I have both flavours of PoA registered for my 100yr old father but it is hard to see how to use them. Took me 3 appointments to open a 123 account using this and often seems better to try to sort things without it ... in the end I opened an account in joint names as otherwise I would have to show the document every time I made a change. With the health thing ... just had a torrid time with a hospital ... them failing to acknowledge dementia in my father so no proper supervison... no records ... wrong diagnosis ... telling them to deal with me because I had H&W PoA and knew the history made no difference. Perhaps I can take the H. authority to task on this? Basically, how do other people get on with it? Is there a manual?


You are absolutely right that there could be more guidance out there for people who are attorneys and it is something we are looking into. It sounds like you have already looked at what we have on our website and also at the OPG’s information.

Having said that, one of the problems in practice is that the different banks and other service providers all have their own (varying) processes for recording an LPA on an account and levels of awareness and training vary. If you haven’t been able to make progress it’s worth asking to speak to the vulnerable client team (most large providers will have one) and if needs be make a complaint. Subject to see proper evidence and ID it shouldn’t be as hard as it is sometimes for someone with an LPA to be recognised on an account.

A joint account will only work so long as the other account holder has capacity to manage it-if they lose capacity the bank may freeze the account until an LPA is registered so it is worth persevering now. It takes some persistence though I know!


It is very disappointing that you were not listened to in the hospital as LPA attorney for health and welfare and again you might consider a complaint. The hospital PALS team can help you with this: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-qu...t-is-pals-patient-advice-and-liaison-service/
 
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