Problems with not having EPA etc.

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Liz54, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. Liz54

    Liz54 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2007
    10
    Sheffield
    I am not exactly streetwise when it comes to things like EPA. My mother always moaned about not being able to manage on her pensions, but would never discuss her incomings and outgoings. With the onset of Alzheimers, she suddenly seemed to forget money existed, which was a relief in one way as people were taking advantage (gardeners etc were getting paid 2 or 3 times). So I started getting her pensions, paying her bills etc.
    When she went into a home, the social worker asked about PoA, sympathised that it is a problem with most people going into homes, and then it was never mentioned again, so I carry on getting her pensions, paying the care home most of it, and occasionally buying her clothes, food etc.

    Now she has moved to a nursing home, different social workers have got involved and a new financial assessment has been done, and it sounds like the lack of PoA isn't going to be ignored this time. (supposed to have been getting a phone call this morning).

    To be honest, I feel that I just can't be bothered arguing about money. I am the only living relative, we are talking about £7000 in the bank, and I have enough on working full time, visiting my mother every 2 days as it is the only stimulation she gets, and knowing that she has many problems including Alzheimers, lung cancer, cataracts etc.

    IF they kick up a fuss about me being the "middle man" and passing money on to the home, how should I handle it, what can they do etc ?
    I know the social workers are only doing their job and protecting themselves from possible problems, but it is getting really upsetting !
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,661
    Kent
    Dear Liz,

    I`ve no idea of the legal ins and outs, but if your mother only has assets of approximately £7000, and no property on her name, she should be fully funded by SS.

    Whether or not that means you still need a POA, I don`t know, but I`m sure someone else will.

    Take care xx
     
  3. Liz54

    Liz54 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2007
    10
    Sheffield
    #3 Liz54, Aug 7, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2007
    Thanks for quick reply. I pay my mothers pensions to the home, less about £18 a week that she gets to keep, SS pay the rest. I think it works out something like my mothers contribution is about £530 a month and SS pay around £1400 a month. All I am doing is passing on my mothers two private pensions and her DWP pension.
    I presume that without PoA it should be done via the courts. At the moment I am more bothered about how to handle SS than the legalities.
     
  4. roman

    roman Registered User

    Aug 8, 2007
    16
    Liverpool
    paying for home

    My sister has agreed with the bank she can sign for mum as mum had strokes.Now she is in a home.She has minimum assets less than £12,000 and no property.she will be funded by SS but there is a £70 top up.We thought we could pay this from mum's savings until they run out but SS say must come from a third party.We never did get EPA as I did not think mum could convince a solicitor she was compos mentis.We are still waiting for SS to do a financial assessment.We had thought splitting the top up equally between family members but my sister says paying it would cause her hardship.If mum had all her faculties she would insist we use her savings as they are no use to her now and on her death would be split between us anyway. I just wonder if my sister continues to withdraw mum's savings whether SS will do another assessment in 12 months time and ask where the cash has gone? If we were to go to court to get control of her savings would this solve anything as I believe it costs about £500 or more?:confused:
     
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,661
    Kent
    I don`t understand how anyone can insist a third party has to contribute towards care fees.
    When did this come into being, and what happens if third parties refuse to pay, whether they are able to or not.
     
  6. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi roman, I think you need legal advice about withdrawing your mum's money. You could ring the Alzheimer Society helpline:

    The number to dial is 0845 300 0336

    Sylvia, the top-up is the difference between what the NH charges, and the SS maximum payment. It is supposed to be paid by relatives. If no-one can or will pay, they will simply move the person to a cheaper home. Not good. It's a lousy system.
     
  7. Daisy123

    Daisy123 Registered User

    Jul 15, 2007
    10
    village nr Swansea
    My mum has moved into a home where there is a top up fee. We were advised to try to negotiate with the Manager of the home when she came to assess mum and she said that if the money wasn't there then it wasn't there, leaving us to believe that she will waive the top up. Admittedly it is not nearly as high as £70. Will know later on today, when we sign contract whether she meant it or not. Mum has savings but even with EPA I think I have been told that I cannot use her money to pay the extra. It's a very sad and confusing business, especially at an upsetting time like this
     
  8. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,661
    Kent
    Thanks Hazel.

    It certainly is a lousy system, when homes once got two levels of payment; one for self funded residents, and a lower fee for those funded by SS.
    Is this where the top up has now come into being?
     
  9. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Yes. The two level system still applies. The problem arises when the NH say they can't manage on the amount SS are prepared to pay, and demand that relatives pay the difference.
     
  10. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    3,518
    They can't. AFAIK the only relation that can be obliged to make any contribution towards care fees is the spouse, in that incomes and savings are considered to be "joint". I believe that's because only spouses, under the law, have a duty of care towards each other (which is why there are so many weird exemptions when it comes to husband/wife such as exemption from inheritance tax or the way that a property is disregarded from assets if the spouse is resident).

    I suspect though that if Social Services are funding the care, then you have to accept a care home that they provide, and that if a relative or the patient insists on a more expensive one, then the money has to come from somewhere.

    I'm pretty sure that no relative - except spouse - can be legally obliged to contribute towards the funding of care.
     
  11. roman

    roman Registered User

    Aug 8, 2007
    16
    Liverpool
    No EPA

    No one is obliged to pay top up fees but she may not have been accepted at that home and we didn't want our choice to be based on cost.Even the worst EMI home wanted £20 a week top up.
    I have a daughter who works as a paralegal and she said you can go on line to the public guardian office and download forms to apply for court order.It takes 8-12 weeks.They appoint a receiver.Costs would come out of mum's savings.You can ring them for forms on 0845 330 2900.Costs £580 then there are annual fees but if less than £12500 in savings and no property fees might be waived.If few savings and no property can apply for a short order.Obviously you must check this out. I knew about this but £580 seems a lot of money from her savings.Thanks for your replies! I just wonder if we did apply for a court order if we could still use her savings to pay for care.
     
  12. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    3,518
    I may be wrong, but I think a key phrase here is "they appoint a receiver". I believe that it;s the Court that decides who will be made receiver, and it;s not necessarily the person making the application, or who the donor might choose if they are able?

    For example the court might make the local authority the receiver?
     
  13. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    Hi All,

    I was going to post on this thread last night but decided to check facts first:

    1. EPA/ Receiver

    Liz I think strictly speaking you should have an EPA for your Mum if you are going to be handling her money but this will only be possible if she is still mentally capable of doing an EPA. The following is an extract from the Public Guardianship leaflet:
    Anyone can make an EPA, as long as they can understand how to do so and what it does. The legal test is to ask whether you can understand that:

    the attorney can take complete power over your affairs if you become mentally unable to manage them yourself;

    the attorney will, in general, be able to do anything with your property that you could have done; and

    the power will continue if you are, or become, mentally incapable and it can only be ended by the Court of Protection.


    If you don't think your Mum would be able to understand then you can apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as her receiver. Quote from PGO website:

    The Court of Protection will usually appoint a receiver when a client has:

    a) more than £16,000 in cash after payment of debts; or

    b) property must be sold; or

    c) a level of income which the Court considers necessesitates the appointment.


    Otherwise the court may make a short order

    A Short Order may authorise you to:

    a) receiver occupational/private pensions or trust income;

    b) receive all or part of the client's money held in bank or building society accounts;

    c) pay nursing home fees or other charges, debts, expenses and any solicitor's costs; and

    d) provide for the safe custody of documents and valuables such as furniture and jewellry.


    Generally the fee will be waived if your Mum has assets of less than £12,750.

    Of course come 1st October this is all set to change when EPA'a are replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA's). I saw the form yesterday it is 25 pages long :eek: and costs £150 to register before it can be used at all. Also on 1st October 'Receivers' will be replaced by 'Deputies'. The main difference is that the Court will not appoint a deputy if they can deal with things in another way e.g. order that a Standing Order be set up etc.

    2. Top up fees

    At first I couldn't see the problem with the resident paying top up fees, but as I understand it the reason behind it is that if the resident is receiving some help with fees, paying top up fees would soon deplete the capital to the stage where they would be entitled to all their fees being paid. If they already have all their fees paid they would be depriving themselves of income if they pay top up fees themselves. Income is also relevant when assessing liabilty to pay Care Home Fees. I'm not saying it's right, but this is the reason behind it.

    Nebiroth is right - no one other than a spouse can be obliged to maintain (Section 42 National Assistance Act 1948- I understand there may be an argument that this liability should be abolished, and certainly where it would cause a spouse hardship the LA should not pursue this).

    Although other family are not obliged to contribute the simple fact is that if they do not pay the Care Home will not accept the resident.
     
  14. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Thank you Sue. Lots of useful information there.
     
  15. Liz54

    Liz54 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2007
    10
    Sheffield
    Thanks for the last couple of postings that helped with my original questions. Yes, I know I shouldn't really be handling my mums money, but neither am I prepared to start dealing with courts etc because visiting my mum is more important. My mum doesn't know who I am, let alone what an EPA is. All the rules seem to be there to make things as difficult as possible. Maybe I am being stubborn, I have given up all my spare time for the past eight years or so with very little help. If someone wants to make things more difficult, then I am not playing anymore! All they every do is put pressure on through guilt. My husband has been ill for over 20 years, I work, I look after him, I look after my mother. I sleep occasionally.

    Social Services Finances needed to talk to me urgently at the beginning of the week about the matter. Wouldn't discuss it with my husband, so he told them when I would be home, and they have never rung back. So no idea what is happening. If they want her bank book, they can have it. (the term "at the end of my tether springs to mind")

    As for the question about top up fees - in my mums initial residential home, they wanted £18 top up per week. Just the same amount my mother was supposed to be able to keep out of her pensions (surprise, surprise), but they wouldn't have that £18, they wanted £18 from me. I said I couldn't afford it, they met me half way, I still couldn't afford it, and they took her anyway.
     
  16. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Liz, you do sound at the end of your tether. You have so much on your plate, I'm not surprised.

    Useful information that if you really can't afford top-up, SS will back off.

    Love and hugs,
     
  17. JayneT

    JayneT Registered User

    Jul 30, 2007
    1
    Chester
    Problems with not having EPA

    Hi Liz,

    Sorry to hear that you are going through a tough time. Just read your post and wonder if you have ever approached the DWP to become your Mum's recognised appointee or did you simply step in to help manage her money as you mention it appeared that she was paying bills more than once etc and becoming vulnerable?

    Best regards
    Jayne
     
  18. Liz54

    Liz54 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2007
    10
    Sheffield
    I did write to the DWP to inform them that my mum was going in to a residential home, two and a bit years ago, and I asked their advice on what to do, could they send documents to me etc.
    I never had a reply, and they started sending any documents to the residential home, which I didn't know about until after she left.

    On another topic, headlines in tonights Sheffield Star are about a man who died because of alleged neglect in a local nursing home - story here -

    http:///www.thestar.co.uk/news?articleid=3104034

    I note the comment - Mrs Cook said she and her sisters were told by care home staff they "worried about him too much".

    How many times have I been told that !?!
     
  19. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,661
    Kent
    Dear Liz,

    There is no way I can think of to help you, but I just want you to know how sorry I am that you are having to put up with so much worry.

    Love xx
     

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