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Power of Attorney

Rich p

Registered User
Aug 4, 2015
22
Hi all
First time on here.
My wife has recently been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers. She is 58 now. I have been fairly sure that she was suffering from the condition for a few years now but it's getting progressively worse at an increasing rate.
She is still able to carry on a reasonably normal life, driving, gardening, running etc albeit with obvious verbal and organisational issues. Friends are aware of it because it soon becomes blindingly obvious during conversations and because I've made a point of telling everyone I can so that they can make allowances.
She is still in denial though, to a certain extent in as much as she thinks she may still get better and that her condition isn't as bad as it clearly is to me.
To cut to the chase, I was advised to get power of attorney while she is still capable of agreeing.
I have been putting it off for a few weeks because it seems like a future prediction of downward spiral which she has not yet accepted. However, we had a talk about our situation this morning and I bit the bullet and asked if she thought it would be a judicious step to apply for LPA. She wasn't best pleased and said NO, in no uncertain terms. She was pretty offended that I even suggested it even though I pointed out that it was only used in the last resort.
I'm not sure where to go now. Is it a necessity that you others have done? Any ideas, please?
cheers Rich
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,893
London
LPAs are incredibly important tools and if you can't get one signed, you have to apply for deputyship once someone has lost capacity. This is an expensive, lengthy and arduous process and you have to send annual financial reports off.

You can of course muddle through for years with putting bills in your name and using online banking. But if you have joint accounts, be advised that banks can freeze accounts if they think someone has lost capacity, and that might mean you can't access your own money anymore. So if at all possible try to convince her of the need for this.
 

Rich p

Registered User
Aug 4, 2015
22
Hmmm, food for thought Beate. I'm not sure how to proceed without upsetting her. I may have to hope that my children can persuade her to see that it's in her best interests.
I could surreptitiously transfer funds to an account in my name but it seems underhand.
A friend suggested that if I were ever to have to sell the house that the LPA would be important.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,766
England
When my husband was diagnosed 10 years ago we both did POA for finance and we now also have one for health. I did mine so that he would not feel his illness was dictating he had one. Really they are insurance policies, to make sure everything can be dealt with when and if needed. Our two children and myself are Attorneys for my husband and the children for me. With all the signing of the documents he did not realise he had not signed on mine so saw nothing amiss.

It would be very wise to get it done now and it is one less thing to worry about. Wills too should be either looked at or made if you do not have one.
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,893
London
Hmmm, food for thought Beate. I'm not sure how to proceed without upsetting her. I may have to hope that my children can persuade her to see that it's in her best interests.
I could surreptitiously transfer funds to an account in my name but it seems underhand.
A friend suggested that if I were ever to have to sell the house that the LPA would be important.
That wouldn't just be underhand but could also be classed as deprivation of assets if she ever needs her money to pay for care. Be very careful here.
 

Rich p

Registered User
Aug 4, 2015
22
That wouldn't just be underhand but could also be classed as deprivation of assets if she ever needs her money to pay for care. Be very careful here.
Point taken and it's not a route I'd be comfortable with anyway.
 

Rich p

Registered User
Aug 4, 2015
22
When my husband was diagnosed 10 years ago we both did POA for finance and we now also have one for health. I did mine so that he would not feel his illness was dictating he had one. Really they are insurance policies, to make sure everything can be dealt with when and if needed. Our two children and myself are Attorneys for my husband and the children for me. With all the signing of the documents he did not realise he had not signed on mine so saw nothing amiss.

It would be very wise to get it done now and it is one less thing to worry about. Wills too should be either looked at or made if you do not have one.
I agree but I've gone as far as filling in the forms online at the .gov.uk site. But if she won't voluntarily sign them, I'm stuck. I could try the joint application approach but she would see that as devious I think. Tricky, since she refuses to see that the problem is as serious as it clearly is.
 

Jinx

Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
2,333
Pontypool
RichP, might your wife be more willing to take advice on POA from a solicitor or someone of a similar ilk who could explain the ins and outs. It would be wise for you both to set up a POA in any case. It has to be registered anyway before it becomes useable. Fortunately my husband and I both set up POAs years before his dementia became a serious problem. It has been a godsend as we sold our house last year and I was able to sign everything on his behalf. With regard to finance I would suggest, if you haven't already done so, opening your own bank account and getting any money that is absolutely yours, salary, pension whatever paid into that but any income that is your wife's leave in a joint account. You can always transfer money between the accounts to cover bills etc. Don't give up on the POA.


Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,608
South coast
I had this same problem with mum who absolutely refused POA and I ended up having to do Court of Protection. Its a pain especially as people dont seem to understand about it and on more than one occasion I have been told that CoP isnt good enough and I must get POA!!
Now that the doctors have mentioned the possibility of dementia with regard to my husband we are both going to get POA sorted out (appointment booked)
 

Raggedrobin

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,427
hi Rich, I agree POA is v important and not easy to get from someone who doesn't want to do it, although it is worth pointing out that it isn't for now, it is for the future and won't be 'activated' as such. Would it help if You get one done too? You could change yours later so that your children have POA for you rather than your wife? or as others have said, both go to a solicitor so she can hear it from someone else.
There is one other thing. You understandably say your wife is in denial about her dementia. It is always important to remember that it is not really denial, it is that the logic part of the brain is not functioning properly anymore. So she is not trying to be deliberately awkward, even if she seems so, but her capacity for logical thought means she can't comprehend that she has dementia. It is very hard when this happens, it happens with my Mum, but yes, one way or another, do get POA.
 

Chuggalug

Registered User
Mar 24, 2014
8,007
Norfolk
This is the sort of advice I would have welcomed, with, or without my husband's assistance. Now that he's in care and people have actually taken notice of me; helpful legal things have happened, like a very helpful woman from our local DWP office (I didn't know we even had a local office!) who came to help with forms to make me an Appointee for hubby's finances. I've also had a couple of health reviews that I was able to attend and everyone concerned documented his health case and needs which are now on his records. I can make certain decisions over his health, now, and what is allowed, or not, to happen to him when/if he's in the hands of health professionals, so it's not all doom and gloom, even if we end up not being helped while we remain the main carer. There are people out there who see a need; jump in and do their best to help solve it, and if required, these people will do a home visit. Sadly, in my case, it took a crisis to develop before any real action was taken. I do not recommend that if you can find a way around it.

Get all the advice you can. Take the good, throw out the bad only remembering that if you ask five people the same question, you may get five different answers. C.A.B.; Alzheimer's Society; Age UK; anyone like that will know the legal stuff, or know who to point you to.
 

nicoise

Registered User
Jun 29, 2010
1,806
Dear Rich p,

These days it is very much the norm for anyone to make an LPA as a standard part of financial planning, along with making a will and so on.

My husband and I, in our fifties and (as of today, anyway!) in reasonable mental and physical health are setting them in place just to be organised.

For my mum, It was set up via a solicitor as she needed the reassurance of the professional third party that it was above board, but it cost considerably more than DIY.

Perhaps a chat with a solicitor, or financial adviser, might put her mind at rest, that this is not about taking away her autonomy but rather more a way of ensuring that you (and perhaps her children) can make financial arrangements and other decisions on her behalf if she is not able to.
 

Rich p

Registered User
Aug 4, 2015
22
Thanks everyone who has posted advice. I'm new to all this ! I shall make another effort to discuss the issue with her again, stressing that it's only used in extremis.
I know she won't be happy but I need to bite the bullet even if it makes her cross with me. Whenever I've upset her lately on similar but different occasions she gets over it reasonably quickly.
She was particularly annoyed with me when I gave an honest appraisal of her deteriorated condition when we last saw the neurologist.
Hey ho :(
 

Rich p

Registered User
Aug 4, 2015
22
I've just had an hour of free and rank discussion with my wife. It's not like a normal conversation but I think she's agreed to the LPA, as long as I do it simultaneously. I can live with that and it makes long-term sense anyway.
She still disputes that her conditioned has deteriorated in the last 3 years since she was forced to take early retirement. She also believes that the consultant is wrong in his diagnosis.
I tried to gently suggest that that may be so but it's still best to prepare for the worst outcome however unlikely it is.
I dunno, it's a tough life innit.
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,893
London
Absolutely. A lot of people with nothing wrong with them create LPAs. We could get run over by a bus tomorrow and end up with brain damage, unable to organise anything. Martin Lewis of moneysavingexpert.com has done one, and he is in his forties.
 

PeterD2

Registered User
Mar 11, 2015
7
LPAs are incredibly important tools and if you can't get one signed, you have to apply for deputyship once someone has lost capacity. This is an expensive, lengthy and arduous process and you have to send annual financial reports off.

You can of course muddle through for years with putting bills in your name and using online banking. But if you have joint accounts, be advised that banks can freeze accounts if they think someone has lost capacity, and that might mean you can't access your own money anymore. So if at all possible try to convince her of the need for this.
I live with my Mum who has moderate Alzheimer's, I'm her main carer and she has no LPA, it was too late before we realised how important this is.

It looks like I will now have to apply for deputyship as she has deteriorated since May. Before that I was able to help her with shopping, bills etc. How arduous is the process? The SS have given me the impression it is fairly straightforward.
 

cragmaid

Registered User
Oct 18, 2010
7,941
North East England
One of the main considerations of the Health LPA is that there can be written permission given to cease any life prolonging treatment. You OH may have particular feelings about having surgery or artificial feeding and having an LPA can take the pressure off you.
My Mum felt strongly that, if she was deemed to be incapable of making decisions by virtue of mental state or physical, that I should be able to say stop treatment.
If you can get them signed by her and witnessed by family friends who have known her for at lest two years, it is easy to fill them in yourself, thus saving legal fees.
 

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