Guilty/EPA Registration!

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Lucille, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    Hello all

    In the next couple of days I will receive the registered EPA for my mum. I feel so very guilty. She lives on her own (with carers dropping in briefly twice a day). Doesn't get lost (yet) providing she sticks to her usual routine.

    On the advice of her consultant and CPN I was told to register the EPA as they had noted a 'sudden and severe deterioration'. Also, they were reducing, with a view to taking her off her medication completely as they felt it was doing no good.

    I sat down with mum and explained what they had said. Needless to say, she went ballistic, saying I would 'kill her' if I registered the document. That she wasn't becoming 'mentally incapable' and 'how would she get her shopping if she couldn't go to the bank?' Of course, half an hour later, she had forgotten and has not mentioned it since.

    However, since the slow reduction of her AD meds, she seems to have calmed down a little in herself. Is not drawing out vast amounts of money from bank account and seems (if this is the right word) 'happier'. Unfortunately I am not - though I should be! :eek: I have taken away her last bit of independence. Once I get the document, I will have to tell the bank and they will stop her popping in and drawing out money. (She can only draw money over the counter ... I already spoke to the bank months ago and asked for her overdraft to be reduced and a limit on daily withdrawals and, if she went over it, to refer to me.

    Have I been too hasty? I did think long and hard about doing it as some of you will know. Now we are having a few sunny days, mum likes to pop out to the shops (via the bank) ... how will I be able to make sure she has enough money, other than leaving it lying around the house?

    She presents so well which creates its own problems, I suppose; although I guess it's got her through this far!

    Sorry, feel really upset. I'm dreading the post, dreading going to the bank, dreading mum's reaction.
  2. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Lucille, you should not feel guilty, nor have you been too hasty.

    Unfortunately with any form of dementia, rational thinking for them goes out of the window. You have to have safeguards in place for the future.

    Please don't be so hard on yourself. You know you have only mum's best interests at heart. Love n'hugs,
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Lucille, you have not been previous. You were advised by the CPN and the Consultant.

    Daily withdrawals are not necessary. I know it`s a combination of boredom and insecurity, you mother is just reassuring herself she can still do these things. But she shouodn`t be carrying large sums of money on her, it`s dangerous.

    My mother used to carry large sums of money and it disappeared daily. I don`t know who conned her out of it, but someone did. She also wrote checks to pay for many things, eg. the hairdresser, car repairs, so her bank account was shrinking daily.

    These were the days when she was still driving, pre. day care, when she presented well and lived at home with only help from us. I suspect your mohther is at the same stage.

    I had a phone call from the police once. They had had a `tip off` that my mother, who told everybody everything, was going to be burgled. It was terrifying.

    Don`t feel guilty.
  4. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Sounds like you and mum already have a good relationship with the bank .... As EPA you should be able to 'cement' the existing informal arrangement. Whilst withdrawals would be on your authority not mum's now, you should be able to set up an arrangement whereby the bank is authorised to hand over specified or limited amounts of cash to your mum (well anyone in theory on production of the right ID).

    I know I fell foul of letting mum have large amounts of cash which subsequently couldn't be accounted for (although I've since found little 'stashes') and found it hard to strike the balance between 'protecting' her and her 'assets' and protecting her, as in encouraging what independence she has left. What I am often left with is a sense of 'restricting' her which doesn't always sit comfortably, but have to remind myself that it is part of my responsibility as EPA (let alone the underlying relationship).

    It's a tough call Lucille - I think especially for someone acting as EPA for a parent - it really does reinforce in absolute black and white terms how the parent-child relationship gets turned around - try to remember what they'd say to us as kids when they were 'restricting' us to prevent us from harm in different ways: "It's only for your own good." :rolleyes:

    It is good news your mum is going through a 'better' patch - no-one could have predicted that - and what if it hadn't happened? You wouldn't be embracing the GM quite as much as you are methinks! And even during 'good patches', if your mum is anything like mine, I know there would only to have to be a momentary lapse and she could get herself into allsorts of finanical trouble - as she has previously!

    You've done absolutely the right thing, Lucille - can you imagine if you hadn't followed the advice given and something had gone awry? This is an awful time, but you will get through it. Instead of beating yourself up about it, congratulate yourself for having bitten the bullet and taken on the responsibility to do your best for your mum in yet another respect.

    Much love, Karen, x
  5. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    Thanks, Connie and Sylvia

    There have been times when I thought I was going mad with it all. Trying to rein in her spending (when she had a switch card) which she lost, then ordered replacements, plural, eight in number!! :eek:

    As I say, I think it's because since me posting the EPA docs off, it's almost as if she has realised (I know she hasn't) and has been withdrawing less. Now I'm worrying if she has enough money!

    Still, I have to console myself that I'm not the only one in this situation and having just spoken to mum - who asked me four times in the space of about a minute what time it was, I know things aren't 'normal'. Blimey ... 'normal' what does THAT mean? :)

    Again, thank you both - knowing that others are/have been in the same boat goes a long way.

  6. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    Karen, hello!

    Must have been tap, tapping out my reply to C&S at the same time you were doing yours to me.

    I take on board what you say. It is right of course that if mum had a lapse or lost the bank card or something and I was asked more probing questions like: 'is your mother becoming mentally incapable?' and answered with the 'A' word or, yes she has 'dementia', my dread was ending in the same place as you were when they froze your mum's accounts. Nightmare.

    It's the long distance that makes it tricky for me, if I'm honest. I've just been on the phone now juggling carers (not literally) :D and trying to arrange for someone to take her to the doctor's. Mum, of course, said: 'I'd have remembered and got myself down there' ... this after telling me she'd forgotten! :confused:

    I am hoping, as you mention, that I can set up something where they will only allow her even less than she can get now. It's my best shot - otherwise it's resorting to brown envelopes in drawers ... but would she find them?! :confused:

    Hey ho. Will let you know how it pans out, it might be of use to someone else following me up the path! I know I learnt a lot from your experience.

    Thanks, Karen ... and lovely to hear from you!

  7. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    Hi Lucille

    You are obviously a loving daughter otherwise you wouldn't feel so bad about doing what is right.

    When I had to take out an EPA on Mary I realised the problems it may cause my daughter if I were in a similar position to Mary. I set up an EPA so that my daughter can control my finances "if I become unable or unwilling" to control my own finances. I have complete trust in my daughter knowing that she will always have my best interests a heart.

    Keep us posted and good luck.

  8. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    Thanks, Dick. You're a love. The EPA registration has to have been the most difficult thing I have done. And I guess that does speak volumes. I know I'm doing it for her.

    Best wishes.
  9. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Lucille

    I thought that when I took my Parents to sign an EPA it was the most difficult thing, which I had ever had to deal.

    But a few years down the line and I have found that other things become the most difficult and the EPA was only the beginning

    Sorry to sound so depressing, but you have done the only thing you could do.

    Take care
  10. Natashalou

    Natashalou Registered User

    Mar 22, 2007
    with an EPA I think its important to remember the sufferer knew exactly what they were doing at the time they filled it in, and were wise enough to see the sense in it, even if they never really expected it to have to be used.
    My mum completed one on the advice of her solicitor about 18 months ago, and at the time I thought neither one of us really expected it to be used, but quickly after that she deteriorated until it ended up being registered in March .
    Now I think she probably knew a lot more about what was to come than I thought she did.
    Like Bruce I keep obsessivly careful accounts down to the last penny , and the funny thing is in a lot of ways im disadvantaged by being mums attorney, as with all her faults she was in later life very generous with cash gifts, but now I dont ever make them to myself although she would in fact have wanted me to do so!!
  11. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    Sorry to go off the line of the thread a bit, but I have been on a course all day today about the new Lasting Powers of Attorney and Mental Capacity Act. One thing that did come up is that under either an EPA or an LPA the attorney's power to make gifts to anyone (including the attorney) is limited to birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and any other time when it is usual to give presents. This means that if the donor regularly made gifts at other times the attorney has no power to carry on with this.

    I will try and post a few more snippets when my brain has recovered from being lectured at for 6 hours. :D
  12. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    Thanks for your post; 6 hours of LPA and the Mental Capacity Act ... I salute you!:D

    When your brain feels a little less like chopped liver, please do post any useful snippets. I value your knowledge.

  13. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Trust by now Sue you have unpopped a cork! :D

    So does this mean when mum has gone to try and find her purse again :rolleyes: and look for a 'shilling' to give her grandson pocket money on his now rare visits I am supposed to 'police' her and insist it is not appropriate? :eek:

    Was there a definition of 'usual'?

    Much as Natashlou, I am recording alongside my accounts as EPA, expressed wishes from my mother - gifts she has regularly or periodically given for many years - which I am now refusing as they benefit me and my son not directly her - - other than to give her the pleasure of being able to give those gifts. In essence, I am going against her wishes and negating gifts we would otherwise have accepted with grace and appreciation.

    The registration of EPA feels like I have put on a block - not just on my mother's spending for her own needs - but on her generosity ......

    Sorry to be so blunt, but it does rather seem that once an EPA is registered 'we' (as attorneys) are meant to restrict spending and 'preserve' assets to the last penny in order to fund any future care needs we as attorneys/beneficiaries/ carers/ loved ones may not be able to provide should the need arise to provide such care ....

    Hummph ..... Karen, x
  14. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    This is the wording for the new LPA but it does not really differ for those acting under an EPA:-

    "An attorney may make gifts-
    (a) on customary occasions to persons (including himself) who are related to or connected [no further defintion of connected] with the donor, or
    (b) to any charity to whom the donor made or might have been expected to make gifts,

    'Customary occasion' means-
    (a) the occasion or anniversary of abirth, a marriage or the formation of a civil partnership
    (b) any other occasion on which presents are customarily given within families or among friends or associates"

    As a result of the course I have done an EPA this afternoon as has my sister and we have persuaded all the staff, their partners, their siblings to do one as well!

    Only the morning session was on the Mental Capacity Act, in the afternoon we really let our hair down with 3 hours of Protecting Assets of the Elderly. :rolleyes:

    I was reminded that personal possessions are not taken in to account when assessing a person's capital for care home fees. So if Mum wants a 32" flat screen TV or a fab hi-fi, the value of these will not be taken in to account. And why shouldn't someone whose main entertainment is in the home spend their money on improving that?

    A lot of the afternoon course was on paying for care home fees and the lecturer recommended the Age Concern web site fact sheets on this point. This is the link:

    On a lighter note the lecturer told us that he had EPA for his son who had gone to Romania studying for 2 years. He had such trouble getting the bank to accept the EPA that he eventually went in to the bank armed with a copy of his own book on EPA's :D So no wonder the rest of us have trouble.
  15. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Sue, I do wish I'd studied law. It sounds such fun!:rolleyes:
  16. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Bless Sue, sorry to drive you to a busman's holiday!!!!! :D

    I'd go out tomorrow and spend all my own money to help mum's pleasures - if only she knew how to work them :rolleyes: and didn't lose the remote :eek: ... and understood power source .... ;)

    Thanks so much for sharing what you have - I know I feel having registered EPA makes me no expert - in fact complete incompetent at times - constantly need to be aware of my responsibilities and accountabilities ..... but I'm afraid they lie with mum first and the Courts second ....

    Oops, should I not have said that? ;) :D

    Love and thanks, Karen, x
  17. ChrisD

    ChrisD Registered User

    Jul 22, 2007
    It's strange, but I often read posts on here and think that could have been me writing it. I am in a similar situation to Lucille. At the advice of Solicitors my parents set up an EPA just over a year ago, much to the horror of my father who never forgave the Solicitor. Sadly my father died 7 weeks ago leaving my 87 year old mother on her own. She has dementia. I always worried that it would be my father who died first. Like Lucille's mother, my mother frequently goes to the Building Society and draws out large sums of money. She is struggling to sign her name now and it does concern me what she does with the money. I need to talk to her Consultant about registering the EPA, but I know she will be absolutely furious. My mother also has carers popping in twice a day and until recently resented greatly their "interference". She has accepted now that if she is to stay at home then the carers must go in. It is amazing that since Dad died she seems to have taken on a new lease of life. She seems to be enjoying new independence as she has frequently said that Dad would never let her do anything. I don't know when is the right time to register the EPA. Is there ever a right time? I know I shouldn't keep putting it off, but since Dad died I seem to be getting the blame for everything and she has been verbally very aggressive towards me on several occasions. Over the last week this has improved slightly and I really don't want to upset her, particularly as I live two hours away and only see her once a week. Our relationship is very fragile and it doesn't take a lot for me to upset her. I know it is all part of the dementia, but it doesn't make it any easier.
  18. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006

    If I may be blunt, sod the law. Administer your mums affairs in the way in which you know she would have done. Give your son a"shilling " on behalf of your mum for who would think it unreasonable for a grandmother to do so?

    Having held an EPA for an elderly neighbough I continued to support the many charities dear to her heart, continued to supply her with her favourite wine which she shared with her friends in th NH. In this I was strongly supported by her family who live in Canada and I do not give a damn if there is a knock on the door for I know that although she could not express her approval of my actions at the time she will be looking down on me with affection.

    I do not see that holding an EPA means that you are working for the state but on the contrary you are acting on behalf of someone who is unable to act for themselves. Believe me that if the state felt that you should administer an EPA of their behalf they would not hesitate to set up a department of state to take over your role.


  19. chip

    chip Registered User

    Jul 19, 2005
    When my mum got diagnoised my Dad took out the POA over her and at the same time i got the POA over my Dad this was incase he got ill whilst looking after her. He did and i had to use it. It came in usefull at the time. I still have it over my Dad but as he is capable it isn't used but is there for emergencies.
    Now i have had it over my husband but today i phoned up the registration and was confused. Yes i have the registered POA but not the Guardinship. Then was told i don't need the Guardinship as i have the POA including welfare. But the Social Services are trying to get the Guardinship. Then i find out the next of kin or Social Services can apply for guardinship its when the person is totaly incapable of decisions. I would take this out as well just incase anyone ends up in my position. The whole system seems out to get at us
  20. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    I must admit that recent changes in EPAs confuse me. Fortunately Mary's EPA and mine were set up before the current changes came into effect and then it was assumed that if you held an EPA on someones behalf you would act in their best interest. It seems to me that to take out an EPA now means that to the state that you are a rogue and acting in self interest. What has changed?

    I am old enough to believe that in the majority of cases, individuals behave in the main, with the welfare of those they love with great care.

    The state on the other hand distrust everyone other than those in authority. Who would you trust?

    Big Brother knows best!


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