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

    Power of attorney (LPA) is a legal tool that gives another adult - often a carer or family member - the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of someone with dementia, if they become unable to themselves.

    Our next expert Q&A will be hosted by Flora and Helen from our Knowledge Services team. They will be answering your questions on LPA on Thursday 27 September from 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Help with understanding what I've just signed.

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by CrestFallen, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. CrestFallen

    CrestFallen Registered User

    Sep 12, 2018
    12
    Hello i do hope some one can help or advise me has im struggling get my head round things and have know family to lean on to ask anything so I thought I'd give this a try seeing as somebody on here must of gone thru this process.

    Without boring you with to much detail , today I did mums means test with the financial services from the council. She has no savings just the capital from her home which incidentally i live in also. There's little money in the home but the lady said even so the council will want it even if it only covers 3 or 4 months care fees and it will be put under deffered payments. After 2 hours my head was over loaded and even tho I told myself sign nothing if she asks i found myself signing a Declaration For Residential / Nursing Care Charges form as a Representative. I'm now massively concerned that I'm eligible or liable to have to pay mums care home fees or any short falls if some funding stops or the price annually goes up. Like so many others i can't afford the crazy prices that get charged on a weekly basis.

    All this is a massive undertaking for me and I'm not sure how I'm going cope on my own with it all. I looked after mum for several years and only recently as June lost her to the care system after a bad UTi infection. She's currently in an assessment bed but I'm being pressured to get her a nursing home asap. Which isn't that easy in itself. I'm sorry for rambling but my question for now is about the form i signed. Can I revoke being mums representative if i decide to or am I legally bound now to do what the council woman told me. I mentioned selling mums place even tho I don't have POA to do so. She basically said unless I can sell it in 12 weeks can i pay £800 invoices dropping thru the door. I asked how on earth am I suddenly responsible for all this and she said because I've agreed to be mums financial advisor by going thru the means test and agreeing to the mail coming to the home. I never realised any of this and wish to god I hadn't been stupid enough to sign that form at least with not giving it more thought and reading they it several times.

    I hope some one can tell me better than she did what it is I've signed and if I can revoke it because I havent the money to be left with a huge bills especially when I've got my own welfare to now consider and find some where else to live at my age. The last few months have been traumatic and as you all know carering for your loved one can be testing enough without all this. I haven't much of a clue how the system works and feel as tho I was lead politely down this path. Like she assumed me taking on this responsibility was a given being mums only son. I'm worried sick after everything I've been thru with my adorable mum I'm now lost and scared of this new phase I've entered into..

    Thanks to anyone who can help , this is my first post so apologies if I've gone off script a little bit waffling on.. Please help i need a good night's sleeps..
     
  2. karaokePete

    karaokePete Volunteer Host

    Jul 23, 2017
    2,692
    Male
    N Ireland
    Hello @CrestFallen, you are welcome here.

    You don't say what age you are and that may be relevant to funding as if you are over 60 my understanding is that the home will be disregarded if you live there. That said, I don't have experience of the system.

    If you don't get a reply from someone with experience, may I suggest that you phone the help line in the morning as the experts there may be able to talk you through your concerns and the system in general. The help line details are

    National Dementia Helpline
    0300 222 11 22
    Our helpline advisers are here for you.
    Helpline opening hours:
    Monday to Wednesday 9am – 8pm
    Thursday and Friday 9am – 5pm
    Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    66,679
    Kent
    I don't have any experience in this field @CrestFallen but I do think you have been badly advised. Please do as @karaokePete suggested and phone the Helpline as soon as possible.
     
  4. CrestFallen

    CrestFallen Registered User

    Sep 12, 2018
    12
    Hi regards my age I'm about to turn 50 this week so I fall between all gaps. Another sleepless night feels like a never ending nightmare. I'm seriously thinking of telling the council I can't cope with all this responsibility & they need take over. I still hope someone on here can explain the consequences of the form I signed. I will also try the number later once I get free moment at work.

    Thanks
     
  5. karaokePete

    karaokePete Volunteer Host

    Jul 23, 2017
    2,692
    Male
    N Ireland
    It is tough but do try the help line as I’ve read several good comments about how good the advisors are.

    Let us know how you get on and please keep posting as you will get support here.
     
  6. witts1973

    witts1973 Registered User

    Jun 20, 2018
    189
    I'm 45 and have been living here for 45 years with my mother so I fall through the gaps too
     
  7. sixy74

    sixy74 Registered User

    Jul 4, 2018
    80
    Hi
    I am currently going through a similar process with my Dad however my Mum still lives at home and is over 60 so their house should not be included in the financial assessment from what I have researched.
    I have also read that the Council can make allowances if somebody under 60 has lived at the property for all of their life or a long period, also if you have any type of disability then allowances can be made.
    I really think you should get some advice either from the help line the guys have mentioned or Help the Aged, as you have discovered yourself the Council are only really interested in how the care fees will be paid, where as the other agencies will be more concerned in your welfare.
     
  8. CrestFallen

    CrestFallen Registered User

    Sep 12, 2018
    12
    Hi Sixy thanks for replying im going speak to a solicitor tomorrow at Age UK for half an hour . Hopefully if nothing else it will point me in a better direction. I seriously don't know where I'm going with all this. The consequences of what I'm told or i agree to can have a devastating effect on my own future welfare. The form from the means test for mum states I've agreed to be her representative. I thought it was just agreeing i will ensure dwp payments to the care home are paid etc when she moves permanently. But reading it later on i realised it's probably covering all payments or any payments the council want to recoup. I realise I've stepped into a mine field with very little clue as to the consequences of what I'm doing.. Big Sigh.... Thanks for your input..
     
  9. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,442
    Salford
    Being someone's representative doesn't make you personally liable for their debts, you have to manage their money not be putting you hand in your own pocket to pay their debts for them.
    Were you to be over 60 then the house would be a "mandatory disregard" in any financial assessment, however, your not so you can only ask for a "discretionary disregard" which means that although the house can be taken into account the LA chose not to and whether they'll do that or not is speculation.
    I hope the solicitor can sort it all our for you and put your mind at rest a bit.
    K
     
  10. CrestFallen

    CrestFallen Registered User

    Sep 12, 2018
    12
    Thankyou Kevin.. Am I right in thinking then that this form just covers me paying in mums DWP payments to the care home on her behalf then do you think? All she would talk about was deffered payments for mums home. When I said what if I don't want go down that root she replied oh can you afford £800 a week invoices dropping on the mat then. This threw me so I asked how am I suddenly responsible for these huge sums I've no LPA or COP and she said by doing the means test saying I'm ok with having mums letters delivered here for me then I'm her "financial advisor" . So that and with signing the form at the end left me thinking what on earth have I done. Shes sending me deffered payment forms thru soon as mums means test as been processed and left me with a list of things she expects me to do in the mean time. Eight weeks down the road and I've seen my social worker twice I've learnt more in 24 hrs in joining here than two months in the real world. Cheers for your insight..
     
  11. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    475
    It's difficult to know exactly what you have signed for without seeing the form but it might help if I go through the process that I went through with Mum.

    Mum needed to go into a care home and did not have enough savings to self-fund the home fees herself but she owned her home. As you have mentioned, there is a 12 week disregard during which the local authority will pay the care home costs pending sale of the house. At the end of the 12 week period Mum was expected to start paying for her care home costs.

    An alternative to selling the house is to request a 'deferred payment' whereby the local authority place a charge on the property with the land registry and pay the care home fees directly. This means that the house remains unsold and the local authority continue to pay the care home charges until such time as the house is sold or the house owner passes away. They will then expect payment back of all of the care home charges they have paid (plus interest) when the house is sold. The amount they will allow as a deferred payment is usually not the full value of the property as they need to cover themselves against loss if the house prices drop.

    In terms of placing your Mum in a care home, the local authority will have a maximum rate that they will pay and often this means that there is very little choice available. By law they have to offer at least one home placement which meets your Mum's needs and is within the rate they are prepared to pay. If you would rather place your Mum in a different home, which is more expensive than the local authority rate, you (or others) can agree to pay a third party 'top up'. This means agreeing to pay the difference between what the local authority will pay and what the home costs.

    Within the financial assessment form I completed on behalf of Mum (as her representative) there was a section at the back referring to 'top up' payments whereby you can sign and agree to pay these costs. If a deferred payment is subsequently put in place the 'top up' payments can be included within the deferred payment charges meaning that your Mum will be paying these costs, not you. In cases where a deferred payment is not entered into and the property is not sold then the house will count as an asset and your Mum will still be expected to pay her care fees. I know that some families decide to rent the house out and use the rental income plus a third party 'top up' to pay the home fees, meaning that the property stays in the family.

    Your situation is more difficult because firstly, you are living in the property and unless you meet one of the criteria for a mandatory disregard, or a discretionary disregard is agreed, the house will be treated as your Mum's asset. Secondly, as you do not have LPA for your Mum I don't see how you would be able to sell the house without first either getting LPA (does your Mum still have mental capacity to grant this?) or applying to the court of protection. Either option may take longer to arrange than the 12 week disregard period. However if the local authority are aware that you are planning to get LPA and sell the property they may well give a bit of leeway over paying the care fees when the 12 week period has ended. But if you sell the property where are you going to live?

    If you decide that you want to stay in the house and apply for a deferred payment I think that this will also be difficult without LPA as the house is not yours.

    To go back to the question of what you have agreed to within the form you signed, it's possible that you have agreed to pay third party 'top ups' but I don't think that the local authority can hold you to this if you get back to them and explain that that you made a mistake and can not afford to pay any top up.

    Hope this gives you a better idea of the general position but as you have specific circumstances you will need to take advice from the solicitor tomorrow as they will be much better placed than I am to advise you of the options that are available to you. Dealing with all this is going to be difficult but hopefully you will be better informed after your meeting tomorrow. Hope it goes well and makes things clearer. I think the person you spoke to who said that you are now your Mum's 'financial adviser' isn't too knowledgeable about the process. What was in this list of things she has given you to do??
     
  12. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,442
    Salford
    The problem is that the LA probably won't want to do a DPA whilst someone's living there other than a paying tenant with an LA approved lease.
    I don't know that the LA would do an DPA in these circumstances.
    K
     
  13. CrestFallen

    CrestFallen Registered User

    Sep 12, 2018
    12
    Hi Louise
    There's very little money in mums home probably enough for 3 to 6 months care home fees.
    So what happens, say she lives for another ten years and money ran out long ago from her home. Will the council chase me up for the money as ive read that when they go into the deferred payment agreement it needs a securing. Your right as well I'd have to get a CPO but that will take longer than 12 weeks. I'm thinking of telling the council just take over as regards mums home , I can't afford top ups and huge bills I need find dome where to live. Thanks you so much for your lengthy explanation. Its all a massive worry..
     
  14. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    475
    Are you sure that your Mum's house is only worth 3-6 months care fees? That sounds very low.

    The bottom line is that if your Mum's money runs out then the local authority are liable for her care costs, not you. If you had LPA/COP then you would be responsible for managing your Mum's finances but not personally liable for her care costs/debts.

    Deferred payment agreements vary from area to area so if considering this you will need to find out what your local authority's deferred payment agreement terms are (might be on their website). If entering into a deferred agreement a 'contract' will need to be signed and this will explain how the money will be repaid, by when, interest charges etc. The Local Authority will place a charge on the property to ensure that they will be able to get their money back from the sale of the house.

    Easy to say I know but try not to jump ahead and worry about what may or may not happen as the solicitor will be able to explain all of the available options to you at the meeting today. Your situation is not a 'typical' one because you are living in your Mum's house and no one has LPA/COP so the position is more complicated.
     
  15. CrestFallen

    CrestFallen Registered User

    Sep 12, 2018
    12
    Thanks Louise you seem to be very knowledgeable about what goes on. I'm just off now to see the solicitor. Need get my head in gear its my birthday tomorrow the big 50 and my works just been making a proper fuss , bless em..
    I will post back later after the meeting if you don't mind.. Every one keeps saying you got anything planned. Yeh emigrating lol..

    Cheer's..
     
  16. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    475
    Like most on here I've just had to pick things up and learn as I go along as from experience I've found that communication from social services, local authority, hospital etc is usually quite bad. It all just adds to the stress when you are trying your best to look after someone with dementia :(

    Hope the meeting with the solicitor goes well, and of course you can post back and let us know how it goes. Everyone on here is really supportive and have had similar experiences and this forum is a great place for finding out things that you wouldn't necessarily be able to find out easily elsewhere.

    You've got a lot going on at the moment but please try to enjoy your birthday tomorrow and take some time out for yourself :D
     
  17. CrestFallen

    CrestFallen Registered User

    Sep 12, 2018
    12
    Hi well the meeting kinda went the way I was expecting. She couldn't answer my questions as I've several that don't seem to be the normal problems that go round. Tho she did say she will get me in touch with some body from Age UK who deals with housing and should have a better idea where I stand. Basically I was asking things like how can the council ensure mums home is covered by a DPA when there is less than X0 grand in the pot once every one as taken there share of it has part of the eligibility for the DPA states the council have to access there's enough money in the house to cover the length of care. This it what it says in Age Uks PDF on the subject. I highlited several areas which I questioned but she didn't have any answers.

    One thing she did look at was the Declaration that I'd signed which makes me mums representative. Apparently I can stop being her representative if it gets to much and I'm not liable for any fees so long as I don't mess up the payments to the home. So I'm going continue and see that part thru. Another question was what would be the consequences of me walking away from mums house if I don't want deal with it all. Because at the end of the day what's in it for me to stay in the family home if they expect me sell it when she passes anyway. Why would I want sort it all out and become the councils care taker of our home. I may as well say I can't deal with it appoint your own attorney and just give me a leaving date so I can find some where live and get on with my life.
    She couldn't answer that one either ..lol..

    Thanks Louise I intend to do my best to drop this donkey over the weekend and enjoy it best I can. Its getting heavy..X
     
  18. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,442
    Salford
    The LA will only do a DPA if they can get the Principal (or Primary) Charge on the house, that means when ever the house gets sold they get their money before anyone else gets anything.
    No one will get to "take their share" unless they already hold the primary charge in which case the LA won't do a DPA. If the primary charge is held by a building society/bank as there is still a mortgage or there is an equity release then a DPA won't be possible.
    It seems odd that your mum may only be able to cover the care home fees for 3 to 6 months you have said and that £800pw has been mentioned as the cost of care, so her equity in the house is only around £10,000 to £20,000 which seems very low, and as the LA won't touch her last £14,000 of her money that will remain hers then the money involved after (at her expense) you've sold the house and paid the estate agent, solicitors and all the rest there may be nothing left the LA can touch.
    K
    PS Happy Birthday for tomorrow
     
  19. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    314
    Female
    I was thinking along the same lines - how can there only be that much equity in the property? But if that is right, there would be no point in the LA forcing a sale as they wouldn't get anything from it.

    But I am not sure what you mean, @CrestFallen, by 'once everyone has taken their share'. If the house is co-owned by several people then I guess they would indeed get their 'share' out of it when it is sold, but if it is solely owned by your mother no one else will be entitled to anything.

    Happy birthday from me too :)
     
  20. CrestFallen

    CrestFallen Registered User

    Sep 12, 2018
    12
    Hi guys thanks for sticking with me on this your proving to be more informative then any one in authoritiy so far. Heres a breakdown on mums home.. The house is round £50 , I had it valued in June needs a lot of work doing on it. Mum owes £15 still on the mortgage. She's allowed £23,500 so i believe and if you take off 10% for admin fees like I've read some where then it leave between 10 to 15 or maybe little more. Mums nursing care fees will be around £750 to £800 a week if I'm lucky I told my social worker no top ups and since then not heard from him in over two weeks. I'm supposed be ringing round care homes but I work all day and at night there's no managers. Twice I've arranged assements from affordable homes twice no ones turned up. This week I've rang none I've got disheartened with this process and shouldn't my SS worker be helping me more. I've tried ringing is desk but don't get thru to him. Must be very busy..

    Thank you both for the birthday wish's & thanks again for sharing your thoughts on these matters with me. My mind runs riot your experience in these matters helps feels like I've finally got some one to talk too..
     

Share This Page