My father and his Power of Attorney

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by motherwell, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. motherwell

    motherwell Registered User

    Feb 1, 2015
    3
    Perhaps someone can give me advice before I contact a legal advisor?
    My father appointed my brother as power of attorney in front of a lawyer. I live abroad and agreed to this after the fact. My brother is now being difficult in not disclosing certain things and when I ask/suggest he says `He will deal with it as he sees fit and when he can.` I am out on a limb here I don`t know what funds are available for his care as he now has to go into a home. Even that decision seems to be my brother`s. I have asked, out of respect as my father`s daughter and oldest child and also as my brother`s sister he inform me off all that is going on and to please have a joint decision on all matters. He at the moment won`t discuss anything.
    Has anyone had to deal with the same situation and do you know where I stand legally, if anywhere?
    Thank you
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,545
    Female
    London
    Was there a particular reason why your Dad gave LPA to only one of his kids? I am afraid if you agreed to this there is not much you can do now unless you suspect your brother is not acting in your dad's best interests. You cannot insist on a joint decision as you aren't one of the attorneys. On the other hand, it's not your responsibility and you don't have to fret about the finances - your brother has to deal with it so maybe just take a step back and let him get on with it?
     
  3. nicoise

    nicoise Registered User

    Jun 29, 2010
    1,807
    Simplistically, if you live abroad and your brother lives here in the UK as does your father, it makes more sense for him to have been granted the POA.

    I'm afraid that you have no legal right to have any joint decision making power despite your kinship.

    Hopefully your brother is making good decisions on your father's behalf. It is possible to seek redress if that is not the case via the Office of the Public Guardian.
     
  4. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,852
    England
    Forgive me, but I think I recognise a familiar male-female difference of attitude in your situation. If I proceed to play pop psychologist, feel free to ignore me! :eek:

    Your brother, I will assume, is doing a good job as Attorney. To be told he needs to consult you and make joint decisions says to him that he's not trusted and isn't making the right decisions. Men want approval, not opinions. This is 'respect' by his definition.

    You are overseas, physically isolated from your dad and brother, and feel powerless to help. You offer what help you can in the form of advice and the opportunity for your brother to talk things through with you before he makes the big decisions. In his position you would find this reassuring. You would find it supportive.

    Your brother wants your support in a different way. How do you get past his male need for approval to a situation where he wants to consult you? I would say offer him an olive branch. Tell him you're naturally anxious about dad when you are so far away. It would give you peace of mind if he discussed his plans with you in a way that didn't come across as "I've already made up my mind". This may work. However, if it was my brother he would just say he HAD made up his mind. :rolleyes:
     
  5. WILLIAMR

    WILLIAMR Account Closed

    Apr 12, 2014
    1,079
    I must say it is unwise to just give one of your offspring POA as you never know what will happen in the future. My daughters both have POA for me and my wife and they can act on their own.
    I can only hope they don't abuse it.
    Personally I have never come across a situation where the offspring has not been able to act under a POA but I have seen a situation where a spouse has not been able to act as an executor as the other spouse had dementia.
    In this case the offspring had to go to court to get permission to act as an executor even though the other spouse was alive.
    Another thought. It is wise for your offspring to know what money you have got.
    We have told both my daughters where the documentation relating to our money is and they are detailed on a spreadsheet on our laptop.
    I update the balances when we get the interest statements.
    My daughters know where our current account and credit cards are held but it would not be practical to advise them the new balance every time we go to the cash machine.

    William
     
  6. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,545
    Female
    London
    Unwise or not, this is what happened and the OP did not object to it but now wants to be involved in every decision. This is not going to happen. I don't know the family dynamics but I can imagine that the brother with LPA is getting frustrated by the interference from a sibling living abroad, wondering why she thinks he is somewhat incompetent and wishing she'd let him deal with things in his own time. It can be terribly grating when people who are not involved in the day to day care of someone, come out of the woodwork and demand to be consulted in everything. We have just such a case on the forum right now: http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/show...-and-siblings-want-to-clear-house-and-rent-it
     
  7. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,852
    England
    I do think this is probably what the brother is thinking but as the OP has come here for support I was attempting to acknowledge how she feels. She also must be frustrated and worried. It's not all about getting the job done (male approach) but about how you do it. If her brother could reassure her that he cares about her opinions and feelings she might not want to take up arms and fight him. She mentioned the word 'respect' and I was suggesting that this word had very different meanings to each of them.

    We had a similar situation where a sibling did not object to her brother having sole EPA, but got agitated when eventually the time came to register it with OPG. Suddenly it was not fair that all 3 siblings didn't have equal rights. She said she would object to the registration and insist it be changed.

    It was pointed out to her that the grounds for objection are quite prescriptive and 'it's not fair, I am her daughter too' was not sufficient. Her mum made a choice, her Attorney did his job for 10 years without his sister wanting to get involved, so what possible grounds could she have for saying her brother should not be the Attorney? Was she in a position to deal with the financial administration personally? No, but she didn't like decisions being made for which she did not have the right of veto. It's that word 'power' in Power of Attorney that gets people going. It is not actually power 'over' other people. It is the legal power to act on behalf of someone who cannot act for themself. It is a responsibility and a burden, a duty, not a mark of superior status between siblings.
     
  8. motherwell

    motherwell Registered User

    Feb 1, 2015
    3
    Update

    Thank you all for your comments. My dad has alzheimers and when I was abroad {my home} my brother took him to the laywer when my father had a clear moment and he signed full POA to my brother. I thought at the time that it would be okay and he does look after my father very well. However, a car was purchased a few years ago for my brothers use to assist my father, this has recently been changed for another new car, only to save doing the MOT,the car is of my brothers choosing.
    I have tried over the past few years to offer assistance by going home for two weeks every year to give my brother respite as my father refuses to go anywhere. I have also been clearing the house of all my mothers belongings (she died 3 yrs ago) as my brother `cannot deal with this`as he says. Anything that he doesn`t agree with is dealt with a hand put up to my face and I`m told `I can`t deal with this hassle from you and I know what I`m going to do and when`. I have tried more than several approaches but to no avail. I have just recently had to resort to messaging him how hard, extremely condescending, rude and hurtful he can be. I`ve been told that information is private even though I have the welfare of my father at the forefront. And believe me I am fully aware of what POA means. I have friends with siblings and they discuss everything together and I cannot understand my brothers attitude.
    his has not been done over Skype as he is unwilling to hear me or my point of view or ideas and I am used to dealing with people front facing so the situation is not ideal.
    For better or worse I have not coomented on his answer of today re a query where he states he does not need this hassle and he will be in contact with me once he has spoken to the lawyer...I am not sure about what as once again he has told me that this is private. He does take tablets for his nerves so I do step back a lot but even after 3 yrs he still has not organised a plaque for where my mums ashes (for my dad as well as us)were spread at her parents graveside. This also will be done when he can get around to it...although he was quick enough about the car. He goes to see my father 3 times a week.
     
  9. motherwell

    motherwell Registered User

    Feb 1, 2015
    3
     
  10. susanandliam

    susanandliam Registered User

    Dec 10, 2012
    119
    somerset
    Feel for you

    Hope you manage to sort this out I do feel for you it's stressfull enough having a parent with this disease without the added stress of a sibling like yours and mine.

    I am having the same problem with my brother but in my case we have joint power of attorney unfortunately the type that let's us take decisions independently. Which in my case means that my brother refuses to tell me anything about my mums finances and what amounts he is spending on such as new bathroom carpet etc. Or whether he has invested Mums money somewhere with a good interest in case she should need to go into a home.

    I would advise anyone who is taking out power of attorney to take out joint power of attorney rather than the type we have!
     
  11. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,606
    Male
    North Manchester
    "...I would advise anyone who is taking out power of attorney to take out joint power of attorney rather than the type we have!..."

    A joint POA has several disadvantages.

    If one of the attorneys dies, looses capacity or , in the case of a financial power only, becomes bankrupt all the attorneys cannot act together and the power becomes void.

    As the other attorney(s) cannot act a new LPA or, if the donor has lost capacity, a COP deputyship will have to be applied for. Everything will be frozen until this is done.

    Internet access and the use of any form of card are impossible, there is no way multiple people can authorise any transactions.

    Some financial institutions cannot handle joint attorneys on a sole account, ISAs are especially difficult.

    Negotiating with utility suppliers and the like can be difficult.

    The necessity to obtain multiple signatures on every document can be arduous.
     
  12. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,545
    Female
    London
    I was listening to that Radio 4 programme earlier about POAs and one gentleman who had joint POA with his brother was reporting that banks asked to see them both face to face which isn't possible as one lives far away so they are now thinking of applying to have it changed to jointly and severally which is probably costly and lengthy. Jointly doesn't just mean making all decisions together but also acting them out together including signing every document together. This can be a logistical nightmare.
     
  13. Caroleca

    Caroleca Registered User

    Jan 11, 2014
    332
    Ontario canada
    I keep reading about situations where one sibling has POA and having difficulties with other siblings....honestly...POA in our situation was given to the youngest sibling out of four...not necessarily because she was the most reliable...more because she lives the closest....but that was the choice...so we just have to hope that everything is looked after for the sake of our parents...we can't predict the future....what will be will be...in my opinion, it's not worth battling over...no matter the situation...life is so short.

    And I'm afraid I do understand what Beate is saying....no matter how much input or how reliable the sibling might be, if they r living far away....they are usually considered the invisible ....frustrating and unfortunate...but seems to me a reality.

    Carole
     
  14. Caroleca

    Caroleca Registered User

    Jan 11, 2014
    332
    Ontario canada
    William,

    My parents would NEVER discuss there financial position with any of us...just in case you thought your situation was common...it might sound like the most logical and organized thing to do...but I would imagine that it would not be the case for most. Just a thought but I could be wrong...or one of the few in my situation.
    Carole
     
  15. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    If you are one of the few, I was too. My mum did an EPOA long before it was needed in 2004 (and thank goodness she did) but she never discussed her finances with me. I wish she had; when she asked me to start helping out in 2011 I realised that she had quite a lot of money languishing in old building society accounts with very low interest rates.
     
  16. susanandliam

    susanandliam Registered User

    Dec 10, 2012
    119
    somerset
    Joint POA

    I take on board the comment that to having to deal with banking organisations etc. jointly would be difficult.

    However the question is what is the point of having shared power of attorney where one joint holder is able to do what he wants without consulting the other person and there is no redress?
     
  17. Isobel19660

    Isobel19660 Registered User

    Feb 5, 2015
    17
    When you appoint a power of attorney can it be more than 1 individual ?
     
  18. susanandliam

    susanandliam Registered User

    Dec 10, 2012
    119
    somerset
    Poa

    Hi Isobel,

    Yes I have shared power of attorney with my sibling. Im not sure on the maximum number of people can be appointed I'm sure someone on here will know
     
  19. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,606
    Male
    North Manchester
    #19 nitram, Feb 5, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
    The donor can appoint as many attorneys as they wish, all attorneys must act in the same way either 'jointly' or 'jointly and severally'.

    The donor can also appoint replacement attorneys who can act when none of the attorneys is able to act, all replacement attorneys must act in the same way either 'jointly' or 'jointly and severally' but not necessarily the same way as the attorneys.

    For instance my wife was my sole attorney and my three children were replacement attorneys, as my wife is no longer with us my children are now empowered to act.
     

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