First Post

nrr

Registered User
Apr 17, 2007
8
London
This is my first post here so please be gentle with me.

My mother who's 82 was diagnosed last year. She's quite frail and is largely housebound and lives by herself in her rented house, although carers do come in each day to check up on her. One of my problems is that she won't admit the fact to herself or indeed to me. The other problem is that I live in London and she lives 300 miles away and I can only get to see her about twice a year, although I call every week.

This is really, really cutting me up. I've tried to encourage her to get out (the social services do little excursions, even if it's just to the supermarket) but she refuses – she broke her leg three years ago, and although she can climb stairs etc, now, that really dented her confidence. I really don't know what to do. I don't have the money to organise round the clock help (not that she'd accept it),

Also I've just been told that someone has taken money (not a vast sum but enough) out of her ATM – the card has now been stopped, and the police are looking into it. I've taken time off work and am seeing her tomorrow, and someone has suggested me taking out a Power of Attorney. While I understand what it is, and I know where to download the forms, I don 't know the practicalities of it – does it mean that she can't carry out any financial transactions without my authorisation/ signature etc. – which is hardly helpful when I live 300 miles away. And does it have to be done via a solicitor. Any suggestions or coments from people who have had similar experiences etc, would be welcome
 

DeborahBlythe

Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
9,222
Re POA

Hello nrr, welcome to TP. Sorry to hear about your mum. Re the POA, it doesn't mean she can't carry out transactions. It doesn't have to be done through a solicitor, though some will argue that it is a good thing to do. You can ring the Public Guardianship Office for advice ( but I'd keep notes of the converstaion as I received conflicting advice from them.) Or you can do some of it online. http://www.guardianship.gov.uk/theservice/enduringpower.htm

If you think your mum needs 24 hour care, you need to speak to Social Services to start the assessment process for this, or to any other professional involved in her care. See the AS factsheets, whicha re pretty comprehensive. Keep checking this site as others will come along soon and give more advice. Regards
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
If you think your mum needs 24 hour care, you need to speak to Social Services to start the assessment process for this, or to any other professional involved in her care.

I know social services won’t fund 24 hour care , but it be good that they do an assessment on her , or may be they have done one already ? as she receiving what sounds like low level care , shopping . as the disease progresses SS up the level of care , as in someone coming in to hep her wash , how the system work unless they became a danger to themselves that’s when they consider social services , care home , unless your self funded .

You can organise with the DWP for you to become appointee over your mother finances, so all correspondence go to your home and her money can be pay in to your account so you can set up any direct debit for her bills, the only issue you have is in how your mother is going to get the money as you live far away

could you not open a basic account for your mother , that you can set up a direct debit from your account to pay her bills , then another one in to her account that would cover her food money .

then the other issue is saving she may have in other account that you do need to look after , then you would need EPOA
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Hi nrr, and welcome to TP

If we're talking about an EPA (enduring power of attorney) rather than a POA, I think I might take issue with Deborah's statement that she can still carry out transactions (sorry Deborah!). When the EPA is registered, you are stating that your mother has lost capacity and as such, is no longer competant to manage her financial affairs. I think you might have real problems if you had an EPA but let her retain (for example) her atm card and pin: you would in effect (from the banks point of view) be giving an unauthorized person access to her money (yes, I know it's her money, but you would have taken guardianship of it). To be honest, I'm wracking my brains to think of a possible solution that allows your mother to access her money in safety, but still protects her, but I'm coming up empty. Maggie's suggestion of a basic bank account would possibly enable you to limit her future losses, but I don't think that could be done if you had an EPA in place.

You might consider contacting elderabuse.org.uk. They have a lot of expertise in not simply preventing physical abuse, but also financial, and may have some ideas for you.

Jennifer
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,517
Kent
Hi nrr, welcome to TP.

It is obviously extremely difficult for you to care from such a distance and I do hope you can get Social Services involved a little more, just for your own peace of mind and to have a point of referral.

Are you in telephone contact with your mother`s Social Worker. It might help if you spoke to her directly rather than rely on news from your mother.

You are getting lots of advice re POA from those with more experience than I have.

I hope you manage to sort things out and can encourage you mother to accept a bit more support.

Take care
 

DeborahBlythe

Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
9,222
Both right!

jenniferpa said:
Hi nrr, and welcome to TP

If we're talking about an EPA (enduring power of attorney) rather than a POA, I think I might take issue with Deborah's statement that she can still carry out transactions (sorry Deborah!). Jennifer
Hello all, it's OK, J, it's a complex subject and sometimes even I can be wrong, :eek: but on this occasion, the information request was about POA, where, as I recall, the donor of the power can continue to access their own money. Nrr needs to get on with this asap because at the point where the relative has already lost capacity to make their own financial decisions, they are also deemed unable to give the power to anyone else and the Court of Protection may step in, which greatly complicates the way in which the person's affairs are handled thereafter.
 

hawaii50

Registered User
Hi Nrr
welcome to the forum. My brother and I have power of attorney for mum signed by her while still competant. When we felt it was time for us to manage her affairs we took the document to the bank and they issued both my brother and I with cheque books (one each) stating our names on the cheques as poa for mum. They also gave us a bank card each. My mum still retained her bankcard and checkbook and we used them all at the same time probably for at least 6 months - 1 year. This was perfectly acceptable to the bank and to all of us. I also have online access to my bank account and my mum's account shows up as one of my accounts which means I can also manage her affairs on line. My mother hasn't used her own card and cheque book for about a year now and no longer has any understanding about finances.
(I live in Scotland so don't know if things are different here)
It's going to be difficult for you being far away - I live abroad for part of the year and can only continue doing that because my brother is willing to look after mum in my absence. Like the rest of us you will find a way through to what works best for you in your own set of circumstances.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Wrong??? Say it ain't so Deborah! :eek:

It's just you mentioned the guardianship office and that's always going to be about EPAs (or LPAs) not straightforward POAs (how many initials can I get in a post?).

To clairify for the OP (before Deborah and I confuse your further):
POA = Power of Attorney. As Deborah rightly points out this can be given by anyone to anyone (with or without restrictions), and simply gives another person the ability to conduct financial transactions on your behalf (limited or otherwise). Obviously the donor can still conduct their own financial affairs. The problem with a POA is that is ceases to have validity at the point when it might most be needed: when the donor loses capacity.
EPA = Enduring power of attorney. This is drawn up before someone loses capacity, but takes over when they have lost it. If someone does not draw up one before losing capacity, as Deborah points out, the only way to manage their affairs is to apply to the court of protection for receivership.
LPA = Lasting power of attorney - this will take the place of EPAs, with some differences that I'm not going to go into now.

Personally, I think if there's a level of dementia already, a straightforward POA is not a good choice, and I suspect from the context of the OP's post (lost money et al) the suggestion was made with the intent that an EPA should be drawn up rather than a POA. However, I may have read more into the post than was intended (in which case I apologise). Now I've probably made it less clear than mud, but I have good intentions (although I recognise that "the road to hell is paved etc"). :)

Jennifer
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
I've got the same for John. But that only applies in Scotland.

The new LPA in England will be similar. (Of course, Scotland was five years ahead):p :p :p

(Yes, I'm feeling better!)
 

sue38

Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
10,854
52
Wigan, Lancs
I don't want to confuse things further :confused: but remember that laws that apply in England and Wales are different to those that apply in Scotland.

I know very little about Scottish Law (other than that they often seem to be one jump ahead of England :) ).

As far as an English EPA is concerned, when you make an EPA you do not automatically lose the power to continue managing your financial affairs. My sister has recently moved to Greece and appointed myself and my older sister as attorneys to deal with the bank and her property in England. It was just as easy for her to do an EPA as a normal POA (as to be honest the forms are simpler and we thought she might be going a little strange :D - have to be careful what I say as she has now joined TP, only kidding hon!;) ) You do not have to register an EPA in order to use it. AN EPA can be revoked at any time before it is registered.

As far as I can see even registering an EPA does not mean that the donor automatically loses all power to carry out any transactions. The point of registering is to keep an eye on the attorney not on the donor. I can see no reason why as someone suggested you could not open a simple bank account for your Mum in which a limited amount of money is kept so that she can retain some level of independence.

I hope I have not muddied the waters further.

Sue
 

gerrie ley

Registered User
Apr 10, 2006
83
87
bradford yorkshire
sorry

I cant see you being able to look after your mothers affairs 300 miles away no matter what. I am being cruel but logical as I see it you have two options either move her closer to you or have her put into full time care either way it will save you heartache in the near future or even a nervous breakdown once again I am really sorry to say this
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Hey Sue, thanks for the clarification. As you point out, there are more than one "breed" of EPA. Am I right in thinking it can be written to take effect immediately (as you seem to have done with your sister) or only when capacity has been lost? And that registration is required ONLY when capacity has been lost and the EPA was the second type? What's the situation when the EPA is the former type but the donor loses capacity? The guardianship site says that the EPA needs to be registered at that point.

I suppose there are degrees of capacity. Surely though, if someone had lost sufficient capacity such that registration was required, they wouldn't be able to manage their financial affairs? The EPA booklet says

Can the donor still manage their affairs in any way?
Registering an EPA usually removes the donor’s power to manage their own affairs. However, it is difficult to offer general advice on this point. You may want to speak to a solicitor.

So I guess the answer to my last question is "maybe" :)

Jennifer
 

sue38

Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
10,854
52
Wigan, Lancs
jenniferpa said:
As you point out, there are more than one "breed" of EPA. Am I right in thinking it can be written to take effect immediately (as you seem to have done with your sister) or only when capacity has been lost?
Yes and no. (Typical lawyer's response;)) There is only one form but you can put a provision in the form that it is only to be used when the donor has reason to believe that the donor is becoming/has become mentally incapable. The problem with this is that the EPA may need to be used before, if for example the donor has to go into hospital because of a physical rather than a mental problem.

And that registration is required ONLY when capacity has been lost and the EPA was the second type? What's the situation when the EPA is the former type but the donor loses capacity? The guardianship site says that the EPA needs to be registered at that point.

I suppose there are degrees of capacity. Surely though, if someone had lost sufficient capacity such that registration was required, they wouldn't be able to manage their financial affairs? The EPA booklet says

Can the donor still manage their affairs in any way?
Registering an EPA usually removes the donor’s power to manage their own affairs. However, it is difficult to offer general advice on this point. You may want to speak to a solicitor.
Registration is required, strictly speaking when the donor has become or is becoming mentally incapable of managing their affairs. In the latter case they may still be able to do some things.

In practice I think most people don't register until the person has become mentally incapable, but if they are using the EPA and they are concerned that someone may accuse them in the future of misusing it, they should for their own protection register as soon as the donor's mentally capacity starts to deteriorate .

Sue
 

Taffy

Registered User
Apr 15, 2007
1,314
RE... mum not wanting to go out.

Hello nrr, I was recently chatting to a lady who has alz and she was sharing her own experiences with this disease and one of the things she spoke about was going out and how the different noises caused to much stimulus to her brain which in turn caused confusion, she found that by wearing earplugs it did help some. Maybe this will be of some help or insight. I wish you well, I am also new here and the support is great. Take care Taffy.
 

Splat88

Registered User
Jul 13, 2005
176
Essex
I'd be interested to know how you define "losing capacity"?

MIL understands perfectly the meaning of omney, she just doesn't think she has any. I have an EPA, and use it on her behalf solely because she doesn't seem to want to go out much now. She often gets me to get money out of her account using it to buy things she has given us permission to buy.

As she knows how much she has when reminded, when do I assume she has lost capacity? She lives with us so has no bills or financial worries.
 

Nebiroth

Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
3,511
I think of it as "could the person manage to do this if left to themselves?" If so then they have capacity, if not, then they don't.
 

nrr

Registered User
Apr 17, 2007
8
London
thanks for all these replies, and please keep them coming - they are incredibly supportive, becasue at the moment I still don't have the faintest idea what to do.

I have just arrived up north and will be seeing her in about half an hour or so - at least it will give me some idea of the real situation, more so than genuinely well-meaning social workers at the end of a phone 300 miles away can do.
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
That’s it really at the end of the day , its left to us alone to live with the heartache of it all, social worker are bound by rule , regulation, funding in how much help they can offer and us to make the hardest decision of our life when we see they can not cope alone at home .

Let us know how you get on