1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

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Is an Enduring Power of attorney necessary ?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by goodtyneguy, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. goodtyneguy

    goodtyneguy Registered User

    Apr 18, 2007
    14
    Firstly, hello to everyone on the forum:)

    Secondly, I'm here for help in order to assist my partner and her parents to cope with her father who has just been diagnosed with mild parkinsons and the early stages of dementia. They are not computer literate and therefore do not have access to the internet.

    Thirdly, I suspect that the answer to my question is a "yes", let me explain.

    I came to the website this evening in a tired state after a busy day not really wanting to have to concentrate on much. My motivation is the urgency associated with getting in place and EPA before her father loses his mental capacity to do so. I'm assuming this is necessary. Her mum would be the attorney.

    I was under the illusion that it was only necessary to put in place an EPA so that the attorney is able to be in control of the financial affairs of the donor and only if the finances of the donor are other than simple. After having read some of the existing threads I understand that EPA's can give the attorney other powers than simply looking after the donor's finances.

    My partner's parents finances are very simple, they have two building society accounts which are in joint names. A current account and an instant access savings account. Their income comes from her fathers state pension and his two occupational pension schemes. Her mother has her own state pension. Their home is paid for and would be below the inheritance tax threshold if sold. I don't know how it is held i.e tenants in common or joint tenants. Their will is set up so that if either dies the other inherits the estate and in the event of a joint death the children inherit in equal proportions.

    We are eager to know whether we need to set up an EPA before it's to late.

    Any advice much appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi, welcome to TP.

    I'm not an expert on the English legal system, but I would think that your partner's mum and dad would be well advised to grant EPA to each other and to your partner.

    This is what my husband and I have done, and we have everything in joint names. The benefit is that should the lady die first, or become incapacitated herself, your partner would then be able to take over. Without an EPA you would be looking at guardianship in these circumtances, and that's much more complicated.

    I'm sure some of our legal experts will be along soon to give you more advice -- or tell me I'm wrong! That's what TP is all about.:)

    Good luck,
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417
    Even though your partners parents may have relatively straightforward finances an EPA is, as much as anything, about preparing for worst case scenarios. Say your partner's father needs to be placed in a nursing home at some point in the future. Now you can't be forced to sell the home, but what if your partner's mother wanted to? Alternatively, what if something happened to your partner's mother? So yes, I think the answer is yes, get the EPA made, with your partner as a secondary attorney in the event that your partner's mother cannot perform those duties.
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,669
    Kent
    My husband and I have begun the process of taking out Mutual POAs even though everything is in joint names, apart from small sums in ISAs. We are doing it as a precaution, rather than a necessity.
     
  5. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    Hi,

    Only just caught up with this thread.

    All the advice you have been given so far is spot on. I am guessing from your user name that you and your 'in-laws' are in England. As others have said the current EPA can only give power to deal with financial affairs. However straightforward their financial affairs seem to be an EPA is a good 'insurance policy' as it can also be useful for dealing with benefits and the like. Plus the Pension company may not speak to any one other than your partner's father without an EPA in place.

    The new Lasting Powers of Attorneys which will come in 1st October 2007 mean that people will be able to do an LPA to deal with financial affairs and/or a separate LPA to deal with 'welfare issues'. From what I can gather the LPA will be more complicated to execute and cannot be used until they are registered with the Public Guardianship Office.

    As you know you can only do either an EPA or an LPA whilst you have mental capacity and so I wouldn't wait until October to do an EPA. As far as I am aware if your partner's father still has mental capacity in October he will be able to do a welfare LPA without upsetting the existing financial EPA.

    I would also endorse what the others have said about appointing each other and your partner as attorneys as you don't know what's round the corner (and a good job too sometimes:) )

    Sue
     
  6. goodtyneguy

    goodtyneguy Registered User

    Apr 18, 2007
    14
    Thank you for all the helpfull replies.

    I took Nada's advice and rang the Alzheimers Soceity, that was before sue's contribution. It turned out that there was nothing to add to what has already being said here.

    Sue, yes we are in the UK and thanks for confirming the legal aspects of the situation.

    I will be advising my partner's father (the donor) it would be best to put in place an EPA with her mother and my partner as attorneys. I understand that they can be appointed as attorneys separately, jointly and jointly and severally. Jointly has been ruled out as a new EPA needs to be drawn up should one of the attorneys for any reason become incapable of acting. That leaves separately or jointly and severally. I'm not sure which is the best but feel the jointly and severally will save on the paperwork.

    I'm off to download the official document and guide from the guardainship site now to see if I can get it sorted out.

    Any advice on the issue in my penultimate paragraph appreciated, particularly from Sue.

    Many thanks again.:)
     
  7. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    I'd strongly recommend your partner's mother and father doing and EPA each. For one thing, it's less distressing for him, as it can be treated as just an extension of the will, and does not make him feel he is having control taken from him.

    Of course, you may feel that it would be better for mum to wait for the LPA. Difficult decision!
     
  8. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    An EPA is absolutely vital and much sooner rather than later

    In fact every adult should sign one at age 18 if they have any sense

    You can download the forms from Guardianship website

    They are very easy to complete and you only need an independant witness

    Most banks etc will accept them at face value and you do not immediately have to register it

    However in order to gain full control or when the person is no longer able to handle matters ( which is usually much much sooner than you think because they hide their problems from family for months or even years )

    My Mother signed one 10 yrs ago age 80 thank goodness but hid her inability to deal with figures/financces etc for 5 years and the result was a horrific loss of interest money
     
  9. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs


    Basically 'jointly' means that one attorney cannot act without the other and you need BOTH signatures. Also as you say, if one attorney is unable to act through physical or mental disabilty the other cannot take over. If one attorney dies the power is revoked.

    'Jointly and severally' means that the attorneys can act together or either one of them can act at any time. You only need the signature of either one of the attorneys. One attorney can sign one day and the other the next etc.

    I wouldn't advise that you do 'separate' powers. This would be for example if you wanted one attorney to deal with the house and the other with money in the Bank. You would need to be very careful with the wording and again one attorney could not take over the other's role if the other could no longer act for any reason.

    Hope this helps.

    Sue
     
  10. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs


    Absolutely! Remember you can always revoke it up to losing mental capacity/ registration at PGO.

    As Skye says both your partner's parents could do an EPA now, and then if Mum wants to do an LPA come October she can revoke existing EPA and do an LPA for financial affairs, or leave the EPA in place and just do an LPA for welfare matters.

    Sue
     
  11. goodtyneguy

    goodtyneguy Registered User

    Apr 18, 2007
    14
    Excellent advice skye about getting both my partner's parents to do an EPA.

    Hazel, it's important to get something in place now rather than wait for the LPA as I think her father is deteriating quickly and if not it may happen to quick to act.

    Social services are involved now, they say he is also suffering from manic depression which is evidenced by the fact he has told my partner and her mum that he wishes god would end his life. Some respite care is currently being organised. Getting out and into company will hopefully alleviate or solve this problem.

    Helena, I have downloaded, printed and completed the forms as much as I can, good advice.

    Sue, thanks for your clarification of the methods of drawing up the EPA. The forms downloaded from the guardianship site come with explanetory notes and are easy to complete. Severally and jointly is selected simply by crossing thru' "jointly" on the form. We have yet to talk to my partners parents about the EPA but can see the benefits of both of them to draw one up. It will be difficult as her father is quite apathetic about everything at the moment. Very interesting point concerning everyone doing one once attaining the age of majority and your comments about her mum revoking her EPA or adding an LPA in October has been noted.

    Thanks
     

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