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My mother refusing to pay for bills

Mudlark

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
33
0
Dear All,
My mother has Alzheimer's, diagnosed last year but probably had it for about 4 years. She lives with my stepdad both aged 80 who cares for her. We have registered an LPA for finance and health, myself and stepfather have power of attorney.

About a year ago my mum started to refuse to pay any bills or cost towards food and other living expenses. (She has her own current account into which is paid a monthly contribution from her ex husbands , my Dad's pension, they divorced some 20 years ago)

My stepdad is paying for everything and his own savings are now dwindling away. He has asked that she contributes as she used to, she has refused and is becoming very possessive over her money and believes she should only pay for the food she eats and is saying she will eat less ( she is already very thin) to avoid costs!
I do have LPA for her finance and would like to set up a standing order from her account to his or else there is the possibility he will have no money to pay for bills etc. However she does have some capacity and will just say no , and will not care if they live in darkness and cold with no food! If I talk to her about it or indeed anything she thinks it is a conspiracy between me and her husband, my stepfather.

Any advice ? I really only need to set up a small standing order from her account to his but this now seems impossible.
Thanks in advance.
 

silkiest

Registered User
Feb 9, 2017
453
0
Hi @Mudlark, do they have a joint account at all? Would she be happier paying into a joint account rather than paying him? If they are with the same bank it should be relatively easy to set up one for joint expenses such as gas. electric, insurance, food, etc. I suspect if you look at their total expenses her share is larger than you think.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
17,267
0
67
Toronto, Canada
If you have registered the LPA, why not just go ahead and not tell her at all? I realize she will probably get upset but on the other hand she might get upset about almost anything. Would she realize it? I know it sounds harsh but I had the same problems with my mother and had to simply keep the statements away from her.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
16,138
0
South coast
I would say that your mums answer that she will eat less shows that she doesnt have the capacity to understand about her finances anymore. When you ask someone with dementia about something that they dont really understand their default answer is almost always no, because its safer. Also, when they get to the stage of losing understanding about their finances they frequently develop a fear of having no money and/or think people are stealing their money.

I would just go ahead and register the POA with the bank so that you can sort her finances out and not tell her. It seems wrong to do things without telling them, but if its going to upset them because they dont understand why it has to be done, then its best to be "economical with he truth"
 

Mudlark

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
33
0
I would say that your mums answer that she will eat less shows that she doesnt have the capacity to understand about her finances anymore. When you ask someone with dementia about something that they dont really understand their default answer is almost always no, because its safer. Also, when they get to the stage of losing understanding about their finances they frequently develop a fear of having no money and/or think people are stealing their money.

I would just go ahead and register the POA with the bank so that you can sort her finances out and not tell her. It seems wrong to do things without telling them, but if its going to upset them because they dont understand why it has to be done, then its best to be "economical with he truth"
Is it really as easy as that? I don't need her consent? That is good news!
 

Mudlark

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
33
0
I would say that your mums answer that she will eat less shows that she doesnt have the capacity to understand about her finances anymore. When you ask someone with dementia about something that they dont really understand their default answer is almost always no, because its safer. Also, when they get to the stage of losing understanding about their finances they frequently develop a fear of having no money and/or think people are stealing their money.

I would just go ahead and register the POA with the bank so that you can sort her finances out and not tell her. It seems wrong to do things without telling them, but if its going to upset them because they dont understand why it has to be done, then its best to be "economical with he truth"
It sounds easier than I thought. Thank you
 

Mudlark

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
33
0
If you have registered the LPA, why not just go ahead and not tell her at all? I realize she will probably get upset but on the other hand she might get upset about almost anything. Would she realize it? I know it sounds harsh but I had the same problems with my mother and had to simply keep the statements away from her.
I thought I needed proof of lack of capacity - but perhaps not
 

CardiffGirlInEssex

Registered User
Oct 6, 2018
343
0
I thought I needed proof of lack of capacity - but perhaps not
You might be asked for proof of lack of capacity, as it is as LPoA not an EPOA. With EPOA loss of capacity is a requirement before it can be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. I’m not sure the same is true with LPoA but I would make an appointment at the bank to find out what you can do without asking for a form to be signed by your mother.
 

silkiest

Registered User
Feb 9, 2017
453
0
Hi proof of lack of capacity is not required for lasting POA, which can be acted upon as soon as it is registered. If she has capacity to understand what is happening she could go to the bank to complain but that is probably very unlikely. I changed MIL's bank account to paperless statements to stop her complaining about the cost of her (necessary) twice daily carers. She very quickly stopped asking about the cost of everything when not being reminded by monthly bank statements.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
3,173
0
Dorset
The whole idea of a Lasting Power of Attorney is that it can be used as soon as it is registered. Mine was registered as soon as it was written so that my family can use it if I am incapacitated for any reason.
With The Banjoman I just took the Certified copy to his bank, along with some personal identity for myself and set everything in place, including statements sent to me as he would leave them around his place for anybody to read. If he started fretting about how much money he had and wanted to see one I would take it in to him. He still had a Debit card so he could go shopping and I had one too so I could buy anything he needed.
 

CardiffGirlInEssex

Registered User
Oct 6, 2018
343
0
Ah, that's good to know as I am setting up my own LPoA at the moment. Having to jump through all the hoops to register my parents' Enduring POAs was a right pain though it went through quicker than I expected once it got to the OPG.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
593
0
My sister and I have had POA for our mother for 4 years, and have managed her finances from the off. She still has active cards, and could, in theory, access her account if she wished.
Initially we used to tell her if we were making any large payments, or moving her money,but she used to become very anxious about it. We now don't tell her, and she never asks to see statements etc.( Unfortunately , she now thinks her long dead father is after her money..... )
It may sound deceitful to set up things behind your mum's back, but she can no longer make rational decisions about her finances - and that is the purpose of POA.
 

Cazcaz

Registered User
Apr 3, 2021
176
0
Dear All,
My mother has Alzheimer's, diagnosed last year but probably had it for about 4 years. She lives with my stepdad both aged 80 who cares for her. We have registered an LPA for finance and health, myself and stepfather have power of attorney.

About a year ago my mum started to refuse to pay any bills or cost towards food and other living expenses. (She has her own current account into which is paid a monthly contribution from her ex husbands , my Dad's pension, they divorced some 20 years ago)

My stepdad is paying for everything and his own savings are now dwindling away. He has asked that she contributes as she used to, she has refused and is becoming very possessive over her money and believes she should only pay for the food she eats and is saying she will eat less ( she is already very thin) to avoid costs!
I do have LPA for her finance and would like to set up a standing order from her account to his or else there is the possibility he will have no money to pay for bills etc. However she does have some capacity and will just say no , and will not care if they live in darkness and cold with no food! If I talk to her about it or indeed anything she thinks it is a conspiracy between me and her husband, my stepfather.

Any advice ? I really only need to set up a small standing order from her account to his but this now seems impossible.
Thanks in advance.
Have you registered the POAs?
if no, do so asap
if yes, use them.
 

Mudlark

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
33
0
I have registered them. I had been told I couldn't use them while she still had capacity and I would have to prove, or a GP would have to , that she had no capacity - well she has some capacity but certainly not enough to manage money
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
3,173
0
Dorset
I have registered them. I had been told I couldn't use them while she still had capacity and I would have to prove, or a GP would have to , that she had no capacity - well she has some capacity but certainly not enough to manage money
Says once registered the financial LPA can be used immediately with the donor’s permission.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,290
0
I agree with @canary that on the basis of what you have told us your mother does not have capacity to decide this issue. It would appear that despite it having been explained to her that she needs to contribute to the household expenses, she does not understand this and the adverse consequences of her bizarre behaviour. She isn't able to weigh up the options here. If that is the case then she fails the first test of capacity in respect of this decision i.e. understanding information given to her in relation to the decision. You have powers of attorney in place so I suggest getting on and using them. It may help with the diplomatic side of things if you can get all correspondence delivered to your home not hers so she does not see it and get agitated.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,290
0
I have registered them. I had been told I couldn't use them while she still had capacity and I would have to prove, or a GP would have to , that she had no capacity - well she has some capacity but certainly not enough to manage money
Capacity is decision-specific so if you are sure that she isn't able to manage money then go ahead and take that buren off her shoulders. She may still be able to make other decisions. You don't need "proof", you must decide on the balance of probabilities in her best interests.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
16,138
0
South coast
I have registered them. I had been told I couldn't use them while she still had capacity and I would have to prove, or a GP would have to , that she had no capacity - well she has some capacity but certainly not enough to manage money
Capacity isnt an all or nothing thing. You dont have to wait until she has lost every iota of capacity - only the capacity to understand about her finances. Once this is lost (and it certainly sounds like she has lost this) then you can use the POA. You dont have to get a "professional" to do a capacity test, you can make that judgement yourself.
Says once registered the financial LPA can be used immediately with the donor’s permission.
Yes that is true, but it assumes that they still have capacity at that point. Once the capacity to understand about their finances has been lost they dont have to give their permission for the POA to be implemented. Unless there is an additional clause in the POA saying specifically that a doctor has to decide that they have lost capacity - which would be a very unusual clause - then the attorney can make that decision themselves.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
593
0
We have never been asked to prove a lack of capacity. Once POA was registered we simply used it to allow us access her finances. Only problem we have ever had is with a reluctance to register a certified copy, because the person didn't understand that it was acceptable.
As others have said, just get on and do it. And don't tell your mum!
 

Pots and Pans

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
128
0
I had financial poa for my husband, registered with OPG. Just went into banks with the documents ( they copy them) and proof of identity and they set it up so I can handle it all. Can have an extra debit card if you wish ( I didn't do that as I look after OHs card anyway.) Didn't tell my OH any of this. Bank only wanted to see the registered poa. Prior to this as we had online banking and no way OH would be able to handle that I had set up a standing order for food and bills. So every time he offers to pay for shopping or wants to bring his wallet with us ( danger of losing!) I remind him we have this so he has already given me his share. Standing order is great too, I feel, if later have to show record of spending as it is very clear and very little else gets spent.
One tip I have seen elsewhere. If your mum might go the other way and start spending, especially over the phone - could be scammers - scratch off the security 3 numbers on the back of her card. She can't get conned then into using it.