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POA - What does this entail?

XanderX

New member
May 10, 2022
9
0
I'm just wondering what this means in regards to the sort of decisions you have might have to make, what sort of responsibility it is.

To explain my Mum likely has dementia so my Dad wants to set up a POA for both him and my Mum. My Dad is very reluctant to take responsibility for things like banking even though mentally capable as it's something my Mum normally does so I'm guessing that he will expect me to sort through bills etc but other than that I don't know what it might entail (I understand it would depend on what happens but would like to hear the sort of things in a broad sense).

My parents want to make me and my sister attorneys. We don't get a long (she has some very serious anger management issues and I haven't seen her in a couple of years). My Dad says at some point we'll have to all go to a solicitor together. Just the thought of being in a room with her puts me on edge but I don't think I've got much choice there.

My parents don't know I'm Autistic and have ADHD. I do find paperwork difficult as I can miss understand it. I also have difficulty due to audio-processing problems. I think I'm concerned that I won't understand what the POA means during the solicitor meeting and maybe I'll agree to something I don't understand? As my parents don't know about the ASD & ADHD obviously I can't discuss concerns with them.

So im looking for advice for following:

1. The sorts of things I might have to be responsible for (I expect it will mainly come down to me not my sister).
2. As we don't get along what happens if we don't agree?
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
4,321
0
Midlands
It means that you take responsibility for you moothers/parents finances in the main.

That might mean you take over operating their bank account, paying bills etc.

If you re daunted by it, dont do it, especially with someoneyou dont get along with.Ca you say to them, presumably they are aware you dont get along, that it would be easier for her to do it alone?

you dont have to go to solicitors office- it can be done on line.

How far into dementia is your mother? Does she have capasityto consent to a POA? She may not have.
 

XanderX

New member
May 10, 2022
9
0
They know we don't get along. But they are the sort of people that ignore problems hoping they will go away. I'm actually surprised my Mum listened to me and went to the GP.

It's hard to talk to my parents. My Dad was violent growing up and my Mum blamed me. It's a long story but I don't have a close relationship so it's easier said than done talking to them.

She's had memory problems for around 4 years, it got worse over the last few months. Her cognitive abilities are getting worse. She called me by my sister's name at one point and I'm not sure she knew who I was. She also blanked my husband at one point so I think she might have forgotten who is at the time. She has forgotten a lot of past events and people. But she's not being diagnosed yet, has to wait to hear from memory clinic.

Maybe it would be better if my sister alone became attorney. I'm not sure how she would take that or how many parents would take. I may have to think of a way of saying it.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
15,134
0
South Staffordshire
Being a POA is a responsible job and at times can be all consuming and gets even more so as time goes by. If you don’t get on with your sister then every time a decision has to be made there is a good chance that you will disagree and something simple becomes a huge problem, something you don’t want to get into. It is always wise to have two attorneys as with just one,if they are unable to continue, then the POA fails and it‘s maybe too late with regards to capacity to get another one sorted.

Anyone can be an attorney, it does not have to be family and if you are not comfortable with taking it on because there could be conflict then say so. If you think there will be arguments say you can see difficulties arising and you don’t think that would be working in the best interests of your parents. There are many other ways you can help your parents.

Your parents can only grant POA if they have full capacity.
 

XanderX

New member
May 10, 2022
9
0
I'm not sure who else they would get but like you say it could cause problems if there was a disagreement. I really don't know if there would be disagreements but they know what's she's like when there is so I might have just remind them of that.

Because of her potential dementia does that mean she wouldn't be able to grant if anyway?
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
12,457
0
Yorkshire
Hi @XanderX
One way around this may be to suggest your sister becomes Attorney with you named as a replacement Attorney ... a replacement only takes on the responsibilities should the named Attorney not be able to act, so it's a fail safe

This is the Gov site with details

As you see the LPAs can be done without involving a solicitor ... though, given what you describe of your family circumstances, it may be better to have a solicitor involved, who will check for themselves that they believe your mum has capacity to complete the process
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,026
0
65
London
The forum is pretty full of stories of attornies who fall out with each other. If you have such a bad relationship with your sister it really would be asking for endless trouble if the two of you were joint attornies or joint and several attornies. I would really reccommend you don't go down that road. It is possible to stipulate that one attorney is empowered now, and another is only empowered to act in the event that the first one is dead, mentally or physically incapable, or chooses to resign from the role. That would mean the second attorney playing no part in decisions but being available should the first one be incapacitated.

As others say you could look for anotherfamily member.

I am the sole attorney for my father and until her death was the sole attorney for my mother. It really is much easier doing it on your own because consulting with someone else and reaching agreement is time consuming even if you have a good relationship. And it may take up quite a bit of time. The things I do as my dad's attorney (both health and finance) include:
Dealing with all financial affairs, pensions, benefits, utilities, bills, and management of savings. This last one can be a lot of work, if your donor has savings you've got to manage them to get the best rate of interest and that can mean transferring ISAs from one provider to another, moving money around etc. You also have to do financial planning for care costs if there are any - I have spreadsheets analysing his income, expected spending, the shortfall and how much has to be taken from savings etc. Is he on the best electricity tarif? It's down to me to check and do something about it if not. Actually getting his electricity bill down and his telephone bill down were two of the first things I did, and sorting out his telephone account and registering the LPA took plenty of time.
Ordering supplies e.g. heating oil, medical sundries
Arranging repairs and maintenance e.g. electrician, tree surgeon,
Managing the relationship with the homecare company and of course settling their invoices
Arranging medical appointments, chiropody, optician, GP etc
Organising getting his hearing aid repaired
Collecting and managing medication
I do all the shopping for groceries, cleaning materials, general household things - not always an attorney responsibility but choosing something in Sainsbury's is a financial decision
As attorney I had to sell his car in the face of his opposition because he had lost his licence (long story)

There really can be a lot of work. An attorney can of course delegate, for example if your aunt Mary does his shopping you can give her a budget to spend as long as it is accounted for.

I suppose a lot depends on the individual and how much they can do for themselves. My dad never has managed the finances, my late mother did that, and he wouldn't have a clue now so I just get on with it but bear in mind that an attorney always has to act in the donor's interests.
 

XanderX

New member
May 10, 2022
9
0
I don't manage my own finances (my husband does that) I'm going to suggest that my sister does it alone but she might not want to do it plus I suspect she's Autistic/ADHD to so may be reluctant due to same difficulties I have.

So it may fall back on me anyway, what happens if I don't get the best deal because I misunderstood something due to being Autistic or what happens should they refuse (suspect neuro-divergent family so don't like change for - they've been with BT for broadband for 25 years ish)? Would I then land myself in trouble?

There aren't any other family members who could take on the role nor anyone outside family.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
4,139
0
Dorset
I would say you don’t have to micro manage your parents’ finances to the extent that @MartinWL does, it is not imperative that you fight for the last penny in interest on savings or get them the absolute cheapest electricity deal but you do have to take care generally that their money is not squandered i.e. they are not convinced to donate hundreds of pounds to charity begging letters or scammed out of money on line. You have to ensure their bills are paid and arrange that they get the right benefits, money is available for food shopping etc.
Things get a bit more tricky once residential care looms, though.
 

XanderX

New member
May 10, 2022
9
0
I stopped my parents being scammed the other day, it was actually my Dad who was going to pay a scammer because my Mum received an email that said it was from BT and their direct debit had been stopped.

Generally helping with bills etc is one thing. I don't think it would be in their best interest to change things unless it's really need. My Mum has never copied with changes, she has set routines for doing things and the added issue of memory problems has only made this worse. I was worried that if I had to change things just because financially it made sense but not emotionally that would just cause big problems.

Thanks for everyones help. I'm going to try writing a few notes before I next speak to my parents so hopefully they'll understand that having us both wouldn't be a good idea.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
3,348
0
@XanderX I was POA for my dad and to be honest I did very little. Dad stayed in his own home and all his bills were paid direct debit so it was all looked after automatically. All I did was take dad shopping and later I did his shopping for him. I did help him make a couple of online purchases when he became unable to do it himself but that was about it. The only thing that I did do was cancel the insurance that dad was paying for his ten year old electric shower., he probably bought that shower 3 times over. Oh and I changed his house insurance because it was ridiculously expensive.

If either parent needs to go into a care home I imagine that is when it becomes complicated as fees have to be paid and a home may have to be sold to pay the fees.
 

Frank24

Registered User
Feb 13, 2018
351
0
I was sole POA as my brother was reluctant to take on the responsibility and I was quite stressed and worried about taking it all on. However, like you I don’t have a good relationship with my sibling and they thought of him and I having to agree on big decisions joint attorney ship would have been a total nightmare and ultimately negative for my mother. Proceed with caution.
 

XanderX

New member
May 10, 2022
9
0
Just got back from my parents and my Dad brought up the PoA. Total nightmare of a conversation, he twisted what I said saying how good having a PoA is. I said that's not what I'm saying, I agree its a good idea just not a good idea to have two people who don't get along. Then he went off and said he's not going to have one and a care home will get everything. Said I just have to do one thing and that's sign the paper and that's all he's asking. I tried to explain he knows what's shes like when she gets angry. But he said that's he trusts us the be adults and come to the right decision. And even if we do disagree he'll be too out of it to care. I think that pretty much sums up the situation he doesn't care because he'll not be the one getting a black eye if my sister doesn't get her own way. I'm just going to refuse at this point and he can do what he wants - either not get a PoA or let my sister do it. I'm not being bullied into it.
 

Muttimuggle

Registered User
Dec 28, 2021
328
0
OK. I have been in a similar situation. I don't get along with my brother. He is a bully and can be interfering about my mother's care, even though he spends many months out of the country on extended (eg. 3 months) holidays. Last time he was home, along with his criticisms for what I had already done in caring for my Mum's needs, he said he wanted to set up POA and that my mother wanted it to be joint. I was very, very cautious and worried. My mother says she would like us to get along but, with her lack of understanding due to her moderate dementia, she somehow thinks/ thought that getting joint POA would be the magic bullet which makes my brother and I get along. Anyway, going with her wishes, he visited the solicitor when he was home, and my mother(surprisingly) passed the capacity test, I understand and the papers for joint POA (hopefully Several) will be sent out to us shortly. After he had done that he took off for another 3 month holiday. I had no choice really but to comply. He wouldn't have done it any other way and what would be the point in a person who spends so much time out of the country being in charge.
The thing is, as I understand, I hope correctly, the POA does not have to take effect until my mother requests it or becomes so mentally incapacitated that it is required. The financial part of the POA can, however, at her request, be started immediately if she asks for that. I am hoping that my brother realises that if this happened too early, it would be to everyone's disadvantage, given that he spends so much time not here!
Before all this happened and after my mother's diagnosis, I set up some care, just 30 minutes daily, which I am now increasing to 2x 30 minutes per day. My brother was not here and had nothing to do with this...and wasn't that happy about it when he arrived back from one of his long holidays. However, he has taken off again and I am changing the care again, as I mentioned before. I feel safer about increasing this care, especially as I suffer from chronic pain and it is not always easy for me to turn up at times when my mother seems to suddenly need it.
I don't really know what exactly will happen when we sign the papers which brother says are due to arrive. I also don't really know what will happen when my brother returns home again. I do feel worried but will try to prepare for the possible outcomes.
Things which have needed doing for my mother have happened one at a time really and I have surprised myself in what I have been able to achieve for her. I sought advice for every change, getting in the care, having her bathroom refitted with a walk in shower. I am daunted by the prospect of managing her monetary affairs. So far I have only been involved in her joint account. I also managed to become a signatory on this account - and this was before doing anything about the POA. I suppose, what I am trying to say here is that you maybe might feel more confident once you are involved. Maybe your Dad actually believes you can do it. And in the long run it depends what happens with your parent, how long they go on without capacity for example. In the time before that happens things may not be that much different.
 

XanderX

New member
May 10, 2022
9
0
I don’t think my Dad understands what the PoA actually means. I think he’s partially worried about losing his wife to dementia but also all the savings they have going to her care which he seems to think the PoA will stop.

I’m also not exaggerating about the potential of a black eye from her. She’s not attacked me in a long time but that’s because as soon as she sees red I back away it’s not because she’s learnt to control her temper. She threw a mug at my Dad about a year ago luckily it missed but that’s what she’s like and that started because my 6 year old said something to her she didn’t like (I don’t know what but he was 6). I really can’t be dealing with my Dad or sister’s temper. Both my parents make excuses for her behaviour, my Mum can’t understand why I think my sister needs help (that’s when I realised how bad my Mums memory had got but she had forgotten & got confused about things she’s done) and why I don’t want anything to do with her or for her to be near my children.

Thanks again for everyone’s advice but for my own sanity and protection I’m staying out of it. He thinks he can force me to sign but I’m going to put my foot down, it will make me more of the black sheep of the family but I honestly think it would be a disaster for everyone if we were to be joint attorneys.