• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can access this area by going to the Health and wellbeing forum >here< or you can directly access the area >here<.

Is Lasting Power of Attorney worth it?

Wiltshire

Registered User
Jan 29, 2013
21
Hi there,

I have been on here a few times, and spent a lot longer reading peoples posts!
Mum has dementia;- its not been 'offically' diaganosed, as her GP is not interested, and is worse than useless (don't get me started on that!) She is 88 years old, lives alone, (100+ miles away from me,) has severe arthritis which restricts her mobility, and has just had confrmed that her breast cancer has returned, and although is not causing her any pain, is at quite an advanced state. I'd say the dementia was probably moderate - she needs prompting to take her meds, and will sometimes forget to eat unless reminded. She repeats things frequently, but is aware that she forgets things.
She does not want surgery or agressive treatment for the cancer, so they are just changing her pills, to see if it can be managed for as long as possible.

Social services are involved with a long term care plan, although it seems to be taking them weeks to get the financial assessment done. She lives in a council property, with just the state pension/pension credit and the attendance allowance we got her a while back to help her. She has just a small pot of savings (under £5k)

I've seen a lot about people getting a Lasting Power of Attorny to allow them to offically take on the financial and medical side of decision making for a parent. I've looked into this online, and was shocked by how much it costs! Therefore, I just wondered if it was really necessary, when the person involved has little in the way of assets, like my mum? Would her bank /DWP / utilitiy companies etc take a letter signed by her giving me authority to deal with them? I don't think there will be a problem on the medical side, as the hospital consultant dealing with her cancer is happy to talk to me about her treatment options etc. And social services have also agreed to speak to me about mum, as opposed to confusing her with calls that she won't understand. All her regular bills are paid by DD, and we do have online banking, which allows me to keep an eye on what is happening to her account.

I can fully appreciate someone taking out a LPA when the person involved has savings and a house etc, and has specific medical requirements, but with things being so tight at the moment, in all honesty, I'd rather spend the money involved in getting a LPA on taking mum for a nice day out now and then, whilst she is still able to enjoy it!!!

What are your views....?
 

JMU

Registered User
Feb 17, 2012
155
Cornwall
My father doesn't have a great deal in savings, he does own his house but other than that we are not what you'd call well off.
I took the decision to get LPA at first because I had an issue with the phone company- I applied for a different contract but could not alter any of the account details as the company would not talk to me-even with my father's permission when he still did have some sort of capacity. There were also a few other money-related hiccups.
I applied for financial myself and I think it cost me £130, cheaper than going through a solicitor, and as long as your read the form and instructions thoroughly it's easy enough. I have not bothered with health and welfare LPA.
I guess it depends upon who you're dealing with when it comes to what sort of confirmation they want, but I would imagine the banks would almost certainly require a legal document before they would give you any access to her account. In the meantime you may be able to access it yourself, but this is technically illegal.
You may not envisage any difficulties, but should any arise you have no legal standing without the LPA.
I will add, I have a friend who's MIL was diagnosed with Pick's disease around the same time as my father was diagnosed with AD. I advised her to consider LPA, but her MIL's condition deteriorated so rapidly it became impossible, and in the end it seems, unnecessary.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Well you could get made an appointee to deal with the dwp - that is quick and free. https://www.gov.uk/become-appointee-for-someone-claiming-benefits However no, your mother's bank will not talk to you nor would the utilities, even with a letter signed by your mother.

Are you aware that you can fill out the LPA forms yourself and that your mother is almost certain eligible for a fee remission or exemption?

This section applies to the person who is responsible for paying the fee.
If an application is being made for exemption or remission of an OPG fee then the evidence in support of the application should be based on the financial circumstances of the Donor (EPA/LPA) or the person for whom a Deputy has been appointed.

Am I eligible for a fee exemption?

You are eligible for a fee exemption if you receive any of the following means-tested benefits and you have not been awarded damages of more than £16,000, which were disregarded when determining eligibility for the benefit:
• Income Support;
• Income based Employment and Support Allowance;
• Income-based Job-Seeker’s Allowance;
• Pension Guarantee Credit element of State Pension Credit (you will not be eligible if this is calculated as nil);
• A combination of Working Tax Credit and either Child Tax Credit, Disability Element Working Tax Credit or Severe Disability Element (within the Working Tax Credit). This does not include Disability Living Allowance or Invalidity Benefit;
• Housing Benefit; or Council Tax Benefit (not the 25% single person reduction);
• Local Housing Allowance.
If your mother has a gross annual income of up to £12K she would get 50% off the fee/

So if you can find a person to be a certificate provider (say someone who knows her well and isn't a relative) so you don't have to pay a fee to them, it might not cost either of you more than the stamp to mail the form.
 
Last edited:

Katie.white

Registered User
Jun 19, 2010
51
Horley, Surrey
Without a registered LPA hardly anyone would deal with me when I was trying to sort my mother's affairs out when the dementia had got the better of her. Certainly none of the banks or building societies, HMRC, etc., they had to have a certified copy of the LPA before they'd even discuss anything, I tried to cancel Mum's BT phone line when she moved into a CH but without an LPA they wouldn't do anything either. The DWP were excellent and they dealt with me before I'd even started the LPA so too were the Council regarding council tax, etc. after finding out mum was exempt so I'd say it's a necessity if you're to take control of finances. Best of luck. Kate
 
Last edited:

Soobee

Registered User
Aug 22, 2009
2,734
South
The quick answer is yes, it is definitely worth it. There will come a time when you need it and you would kick yourself if you didn't have it. And as Jenniferpa says, it might be free for you.
 

AnneG

Registered User
Feb 12, 2013
11
Absolutley crucial

Hi
My Mum and Dad are both now in a care home together. Without power of attorney it would have been impossible for us to sort out their affairs, bank accounts, pension credit etc.
With your Mum near you she can give her consent to whoever is on the phone but that isn't always convenient and there may come a time when she is unable to do this.
More importantly, as my parents have become less able to make their own decisions it is so much easier to have their agreement for me to act for them.

As others have said you can simply download the forms and fill them out yourself and ask your Mum to sign. Then just send to the office of the public guardian with the fee exemption form. If your Mum is getting pension credit you will get the fee exemption. There are two types - finance and property and health and welfare. we have both for both parents.

In the interim another bit of advice would be to ask Mum if she would agree to you having access to her bank account online. The bank will help you set this up. That way she can still be independent but you can check periodically that her finances are in order.
Hope this helps
AnneG
 

tarababe

Registered User
Sep 9, 2012
192
Durham
I would agree that's it's better to have it than not to. We took it out years ago when mum was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's, mainly on the recommendation of the bank. Basically, she kept loosing or misplacing her bank card and when we took her to the bank to get a new one, she struggled to remember her date of birth. The bank manager advised us to get LPA then, as he said if she can't ID herself she can't get access to her funds. Also, if anything happened like she went into care, which she has now, again we couldn't access her bank account to pay the bill.

On the utilities note, we had to send copied of LPA to each one before we could change or do anything. You can have it, but don't necessarily action it until you need to. We had to go to the bank and go through a lot of stuff before we could put it into action, allowing us to sign cheques or be given a bank card etc. Also, once you do action it, make sure to keep a track of everything, as the powers that be can ask for access to see what her money has been spent on at any time, to make sure you are not doing anything you shouldn't be with her funds. Quite rightly so in my opinion.:)

We did not take out the Health/life side as I didn't personally want to be the one who made that decision should it come to that. I feel it should be up to the doctors and medical profession to.

I hope this helped.;)


Edited to add: We actually did it through a Solicitor who had to speak to mum to make sure we weren't forcing her to do this. Not sure what happens if you do it yourself.
 

cragmaid

Registered User
Oct 18, 2010
7,941
North East England
We actually did it through a Solicitor who had to speak to mum to make sure we weren't forcing her to do this. Not sure what happens if you do it yourself.
I arrange this for Mum, downloaded the forms, filled them in and got old family friends to witness/certify them, sent them off with the exemption form as Mum only has state pension/allowances/pension credit, so no fees involved at all. I spent a long time reading and filling in the forms carefully, but they were quite straight forward. I did not have to involve doctors or solicitors as Mum's friends were able to see that there was no coersion and that at the time of signingMum understood what the forms were for.
 

Contrary Mary

Registered User
Jun 11, 2010
1,895
65
Greater London
I would also urge you to consider an LPA. The forms, when mine was drawn up, seem to be more straightforward than was the case when my aunt did hers. As others have said, you can apply for the fee exemption.

If you were to have some kind of financial problem to straighten out in the future, regardless of the money involved, you might find it no end of hassle without an LPA.
 

Julie.B

Registered User
Aug 27, 2012
13
With my parents Ive done the LPAs which saved a lot of money and just meant paying thr £130 registration fee, but my friends mother, who also has AD has just made sure she's a signatory of the Bank account. I don't think banks etc will accept letters. Good luck
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
I'm moving this thread to the Legal and Financial forum as that it the most appropriate place for it.
 

nicoise

Registered User
Jun 29, 2010
1,806
We set one of these up for my mum, but she wanted it done via the solicitor, so it was much more expensive.

As things turned out, we only actually used it in her last two weeks - which was when she had to move to a care home after a radical decline. It meant I was able to sign all the forms etc and write a few cheques which covered us at a time of great stress - to have had to negotiate that time without any financial or attorney authority would have greatly added to all the stresses.

So although we didn't really see the full benefit, what it did do was to both ensure peace of mind in the run up to the crisis because we knew all was in place, and allow us to act swiftly and simply when needed.

So in our particular situation it was worth the outlay and administration hassle.
 

FifiMo

Registered User
Feb 10, 2010
4,710
Wiltshire
Hiya Wiltshire,

Can your mum still sign her name? Why not just apply for Internet banking for her and you run her finances from your computer? Might,not be the most formal way to do things, but many if not most people have resorts to this at some point.

Only thing you would have to look out for for a few weeks is the registration document and the initial password. This can be arranged by diverting your mum's mail for a month to your address.

Where there's a will...

You could also get by by being an appointee and setting up a third party mandate to let you access your mum's bank account for her.

Ultimately the LPA might be the best, bu the are other ways to skin the cat is all I'm offering.

Fiona
 

chrisuz

Registered User
May 29, 2012
94
East Yorkshire
We completed the LPAs ourselves and because the fee is dependant on your Mother's finances not yours, you can apply the have the fee waived as she is claiming pension credit.
 

Steevjo

Registered User
Dec 2, 2012
11
Just echoing everyone else - get an LPA if you can.

My dad went downhill too quickly for us to get an LPA - we'd started talking to him about it - but left it a bit late.

So then had to go through the much more complicated and expensive - yes you can get the some fees back but not all - Court of Protection process.

We're doing LPAs for ourselves now so our kids don't have the same experience - don't get me wrong it's not dreadful but better to avoid it if you can.

Good luck
 

wonderingagain

Registered User
Mar 19, 2013
5
London
is this legal?

Hiya Wiltshire,

Can your mum still sign her name? Why not just apply for Internet banking for her and you run her finances from your computer? Might,not be the most formal way to do things, but many if not most people have resorts to this at some point.

Only thing you would have to look out for for a few weeks is the registration document and the initial password. This can be arranged by diverting your mum's mail for a month to your address.

Where there's a will...

You could also get by by being an appointee and setting up a third party mandate to let you access your mum's bank account for her.

Ultimately the LPA might be the best, bu the are other ways to skin the cat is all I'm offering.

Fiona
My brother has done this for my mother and I am concerned whether it is legal. A joint account is surely only to be used when there is some form of partnership. At present he has control of her finances without any scrutiny. Would I be enritled as her daughter to look at the accounts? She still has mental capacity.
 
Last edited:

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Anyone can have a joint account with another person so it's perfectly legal. Are you sure it is a joint account and not a 3rd party mandate? I had the latter on my mother's account and I was able to do anything that I wanted/needed to do with that account (write cheques, set up direct debits, transfer money in and out) but legally it was still her money (which can be important when it comes to taxes etc).

You have no right to look at these accounts. If you had some form of power of attorney AND she had lost capacity then probably yes.

If you think in fact that he is abusing her financially you should probably contact elder abuse. People are subject to financial abuse in all sorts of circumstances, even when they still have capacity. www.elderabuse.org.uk
 
Last edited:

wobbly

Registered User
Feb 14, 2012
313
Mid Wales
I think it's worth it. We got LPA for Dad as Mum and him bought their ex council house and we knew it would need to be sold if and when Dad had to go into care as Mum wouldn't want to stay there on her own with no family and support near, and we knew the house was in both names so this would be a problem. Also Mum had already found that the electric suppliers were wary as all the utility accounts were in just Dad's name.We downloaded the forms, did them ourselves and as Mum and Dad are on basic pension and pension credits they were actually exempt from any charge, so it all just cost us our time which was brilliant.....it is all explained with with the pack you get.....