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Question over joint LPA with my stepfather

Mudlark

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
12
Dear All,
My mother who is 78 has undiagnosed Alzheimers, living with my healthy 80-year-old stepfather about 2 miles away from us. He is doing an excellent job, he helps manage her finance, does some personal care and for much of the time they still enjoy their life together, but things are becoming progressively tricky with her ability to deal with money, and make decisions about her own future. ( she does not accept anything is wrong)
Is it acceptable for My stepfather to apply for LPA for her but also including me as a joint attorney? I trust him to make all the right decisions for her but am aware that at 80 it might be prudent to have me or another younger family member also named. ( not that young at 53!)
Lastly it will be almost impossible to explain this to my mother or get her to agree to sign anything as she already has moments where she believes there are conspiracies against her, so I wonder how on earth other people have progressed this with reluctant family members?
Thanks in advance.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,395
Hi @Mudlark and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. Having joint LPA with your stepfather seems sensible to me. You can also nominate 'backup' attorneys in case one of you becomes incapacitated. When talking it out you cane make it so you can act 'jointly or severally'. To me severally makes sense as you can make decisions without the other ones permission. I'm joint attorney for my mother with my brother. Last year we sold her house as she had moved into a care home. My brother was seriously ill so I was able to make all the decisions, and work on my own with the estate agent and solicitors. The solicitors did ask my brother to email them to confirm he was happy with the arrangement. That was something he could do, though he wouldn't have been able (and still isn't) to do anything more challenging.
The tricky thing will be getting you mum to agree. When we sorted it out for mum she wasn't diagnosed though it had been obvious for some time that things were awry. However she had a good friend who suggested it was a good idea, and I agreed, just gently dropping it into the conversation until she agreed. You can do the paperwork yourself, but mum wanted to go via her solicitor. It made it much much more expensive, but at least I know the original copy is safely stored and that it was all done totally above board. Your mum will have to agree in the moment, so pick your time carefully!
I'm sure others will be along with more advice soon.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
1,865
Dorset
I used the argument that if The Banjoman was to have an accident or be ill in hospital it would be a good idea to have somebody to pay bills etc. If it was something major like a stroke and he wasn’t able to make decisions everything would need to be done through the Court of Protection which was very expensive so it made sense to have them in place so that somebody he trusted could handle things. I also made a big point of saying it couldn’t be used until it was necessary (although you get it registered straight away). To prove it is worthwhile I had my own done first , so you could get your stepfather’s or/and yours done at the same time.
As far as Health and Welfare LPA I asked him if he would want Social Services to be making decisions for him or someone who cared for him?
 

Mudlark

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
12
Hi @Mudlark and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. Having joint LPA with your stepfather seems sensible to me. You can also nominate 'backup' attorneys in case one of you becomes incapacitated. When talking it out you cane make it so you can act 'jointly or severally'. To me severally makes sense as you can make decisions without the other ones permission. I'm joint attorney for my mother with my brother. Last year we sold her house as she had moved into a care home. My brother was seriously ill so I was able to make all the decisions, and work on my own with the estate agent and solicitors. The solicitors did ask my brother to email them to confirm he was happy with the arrangement. That was something he could do, though he wouldn't have been able (and still isn't) to do anything more challenging.
The tricky thing will be getting you mum to agree. When we sorted it out for mum she wasn't diagnosed though it had been obvious for some time that things were awry. However she had a good friend who suggested it was a good idea, and I agreed, just gently dropping it into the conversation until she agreed. You can do the paperwork yourself, but mum wanted to go via her solicitor. It made it much much more expensive, but at least I know the original copy is safely stored and that it was all done totally above board. Your mum will have to agree in the moment, so pick your time carefully!
I'm sure others will be along with more advice soon.
Thank you for your reply, that is actually very helpful. It is a long journey to even get my Stepfathere to agree, so now it is just the even longer one of my mother's agreement!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,614
South coast
Hello @Mudlark
Unfortunately, in order to get POA your mum has to consent to giving it and she must also have capacity to understand what she is doing - even if it is only in the moment and she has forgotten about it five minutes later.

The capacity is an important point, though. My mum thought I was stealing from her and abusing her, so she wouldnt sign POA and then her capacity went and she couldnt do it anymore. I had to apply to the Court of Protection to be awarded deputyship. It was an expensive and long-drawn out exercise (cost £400 just for the court fees and if you get a solicitor to do it it costs £3,000. It also took 9 months for it to reach the court). It is also quite onerous as you have to send in an annual financial report where you have to account for every penny (I do not exaggerate) and each year you have to pay for administrate fees and a surety bond.

The moral of this is try and get POA as soon as you can before your mum loses capacity.
 

Mudlark

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
12
Thank you Canary, that is very helpful. My problem is that although she does mostly have mental capacity she refuses to discuss the situation and I will have to bend the truth a little as to why she is signing a LPA, she will not sign it if I mention anything wrong with her , I will have to waffle about it being a good idea for anyone over 70 or some such, and hope she does. I assume once it's signed that's it, she wouldn't be able to contest it. The subject is also stressful for my stepfather who is terrified of upsetting her. What a difficult thing this is for everyone. Thank you again for your reply.
 

Mudlark

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
12
I used the argument that if The Banjoman was to have an accident or be ill in hospital it would be a good idea to have somebody to pay bills etc. If it was something major like a stroke and he wasn’t able to make decisions everything would need to be done through the Court of Protection which was very expensive so it made sense to have them in place so that somebody he trusted could handle things. I also made a big point of saying it couldn’t be used until it was necessary (although you get it registered straight away). To prove it is worthwhile I had my own done first , so you could get your stepfather’s or/and yours done at the same time.
As far as Health and Welfare LPA I asked him if he would want Social Services to be making decisions for him or someone who cared for him?
I used the argument that if The Banjoman was to have an accident or be ill in hospital it would be a good idea to have somebody to pay bills etc. If it was something major like a stroke and he wasn’t able to make decisions everything would need to be done through the Court of Protection which was very expensive so it made sense to have them in place so that somebody he trusted could handle things. I also made a big point of saying it couldn’t be used until it was necessary (although you get it registered straight away). To prove it is worthwhile I had my own done first , so you could get your stepfather’s or/and yours done at the same time.
As far as Health and Welfare LPA I asked him if he would want Social Services to be making decisions for him or someone who cared for him?
Yes, I can see that getting my stepdad to do one first might help, sadly arguing logic with my mother has never been easy even before this, she is quite emotionally volatile so I am adopting the softly softly approach for now! Thank you for your helpful reply it has given me something to think about.