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Registering LPA with banks and utilities

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by Alibaba80, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Alibaba80

    Alibaba80 Registered User

    Aug 4, 2017
    I’m after some advice about registering Financial LPA that I have for my mum with her bank, council tax and untilty companies. My Dad died 18 months ago and mum was (finally) diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a year ago. Dad took care of all of their finances so when he died I took over. Mum has no idea about bills or her investments so I arranged both LPA’s so that I could have easier control. I’ve registered it with her main bank but think it’s time to do it with all of her investments and utilities etc especially as I live 180 miles away.
    How do I do this? Do I just get mum to sign a letter or do I have to send copies of the LPA? And is that the registration letter from the office of public guardian or the whole LPA document?
  2. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    With my MIL we rang the various utilities and finance companies to ask what their protocols were. Invariably it was a certified copy of whole POA which was required. We got copies certified at a solicitor cost about £20 (2 years ago).
  3. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Getting your mother to sign a letter is nonsensical - that's what the LPA is for now.

    First things first - never EVER send the original in the post. If it gets lost you're screwed. I got away with a simple copy once but usually everybody wants to see a certified copy. That's a copy of the whole document, certified properly on every page by either your mother if she still can, or better, by a solicitor. Charges for those copies vary wildly, so shop around. Here in London I never found anyone willing to certify for less than £5 a page, but apparently lots of other people on this forum found solicitors charging only a tenner or thereabouts for the whole document.

    Before you send off copies to a general address, it might be best to phone them and ask if they have a dedicated department dealing with LPAs. Also always ask for your certified copies back. They are your property, and they cost money. It's therefore better to adopt a staggered approach and not send them all off at once.
  4. Nigel_2172

    Nigel_2172 Registered User

    Aug 8, 2017
    As Beate has said, never send the original document and always phone to make sure exactly where your certified copy should be sent. Our solicitor provided a certified copy with the original and I have always simply sent a photocopy of the certified copy and have never had any problem with that.
  5. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    I registered dad's LPA with the bank but not with utilities as we set up direct debits to deal with those.
  6. Alibaba80

    Alibaba80 Registered User

    Aug 4, 2017
    Thanks for your help. I’ll start ringing round on Monday! Everything is set up on direct debits so it’s not urgent and I have access to the bank account so I can check what’s going on.
  7. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    Some I phoned were happy just to add me as contact so I could deal with matters on dad's behalf... others required copy of poa so I would ask their procedure before offering to send poa copy
  8. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    I registered my mother's LPA with the bank, her landlord, and the financial advisor in charge of her investments. I never registered it with utilities or the council - and she's moved to a care home now so the time for that has long passed! The bills were paid by direct debit which I monitored via the online bank account, and when she left her flat we told the utilities etc that she'd moved out either online or by phone, and I didn't encounter any problems. I only tend to send an LPA when absolutely necessary.

    My mother's solicitor charged £25 for a certified copy of her LPA.
  9. crazyerduck

    crazyerduck Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    Hi as others have said contact each company separately and ask for what they need to register an lpa and who to send it too. In my experience the bank generally want to see it in person and so did the DWP as I am an appointee for benefits, insurances and pensions at the minimum generally want a certified copy by post, and utilities and things like TV licence or internet providers were happy with a scanned copy by email (had to scan it low resolution as size of the attachment can be a problem). The bigger companies tend to have a separate department which deals with POA amongst other things and that makes it easier as they are more understanding when talking to them.

    Has anyone had an instance where they only accepted the original version of the lpa? One of my father's pensions will only accept original but they are based in Scotland so I can't go in person. They've assured me it will be sent back registered post but I'm still worried about it.
  10. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    Yes, crazyerduck, one annuity pension provider insisted on seeing the original (in our case, of our Guardianship Order). Very fortunately the HQ of this company is 15 miles from where we live in England. We arranged to go there and have them copy the documents they wanted, which was not only the Guardianship Order but utility bills for both my mum and ourselves, and our passports.

    If, like you, we hadn't been able to travel, they would have insisted on having all those documents including our passports sent in by recorded delivery. It really is a blooming cheek to hold people to ransom. My mum's annuity pension would have been stopped because she was no longer able to self-certify her annual 'proof of life' form.

    There's always one awkward one, in my experience. :(
  11. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    My father's private pension provider insisted on the original. I wrote sending by signed for delivery certified copy and said absolutely not to letting the original out of my sight as it cannot be replaced and quoted the relevant piece of info from the OPG guidance.. They accepted it. Often it is because their OPG knowledge is lacking in not understanding that a certified copy is as valid as the original. I also insisted the certified copy be returned by signed for and that happened as well. Do the company have contact with any third party in your area who could photocopy the original perhaps an idea
  12. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    So far we have only used the LPA with mums bank and her phone company as I needed to speak to them about adding caller display. The bank were brilliant, we made an appointment, took in all the paperwork and our IDs then they spent over an hour setting everything up and giving us advice. She gets her phone, gas and electricity from Utility Warehouse and all they wanted was a scan of two pages fron the certified original - the front page with mums details on and the page with my attorney details. I had to learn how to use my scanner but it was fine!

    All bills are pain by direct debit and I guess we will only need to contact these companies if we need to change something. I have set up internet accounts for a couple of them using my email account with mums personal details which seems to work well. I don't know why we would need to contact her pension providers but have I missed something?
  13. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    #13 Katrine, Jan 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
    Any organisation handing out money would expect the recipient to be competent to inform them of any change to their circumstances that affects their eligibility to receive the pension, or such things as change of surname or address. If someone else is now acting on the pensioner's behalf, the organisation would want to know.

    However, in practice you may choose not to bother until something does change. My OH didn't inform many organisations when he was acting as his mum's attorney, because he's more idle than I am! I'm more of a worrier, and so I informed absolutely every organisation that had dealings with my mum, in case not doing so caused a problem or delay further down the line.

    You could let things ride if there's no specific action to be taken. However, if the person for whom you are acting has thrown away their paperwork, you might need to request a current statement, or a policy document, or a statement of surrender value if you want to cash it in.

    In addition to DWP, Civil Service Pensions and a private annuity pension provider, I was dealing with DFID Overseas Pensions and Crown Agents Bank (relating to widow's pensions for my father's service overseas). These organisations all had different rules. Some were straightforward and helpful, others set up what felt like an ongoing obstacle course. Some pension providers require a signed and witnessed annual 'proof of life declaration' - basically, "I am still alive and therefore entitled to this pension." Crown Agents required this twice a year and made the list of acceptable witnesses so restrictive that we nearly lost the pension.
  14. crazyerduck

    crazyerduck Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    Hi @Katrine and @love.dad.but.. thank you for your advice, I will try first the approach to ask to send a certified copy only (which I still need to get done) with the advice from the OPG website, and then if not will try your other suggestions, thank you.

    @Lynmax, I definitely need to register the LPA with my dad's private pensions at some point soon as he has early onset dementia therefore is a bit young to receive pensions (although he has started to receive one of them at the moment), so will need to get in touch with them to determine when he starts getting the others. As my dad has FTD this has affected his decision making, and actually his actions on his current pensions have caused many problems (drawing down money, spending the money immediately but no idea on what, sending the money to scams, and having his benefits stopped and an eviction order on his flat among other things!). If at one point you'll need to speak to your mum's pension providers on her behalf you will need to register the LPA but I don't think there is any rush to do it until you do.
  15. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    As said, there is absolutely no need for anyone to demand to see the original. This is pure ignorance on their part. It is very clear on the OPG website so just screenshot or copy the guidelines and send it with a certified copy. I have had a certified copy lost by one organisation. If that had been an original, it would have been disastrous.

    Also, keep a note of who you send certified copies to and when and how you posted it so you can keep track of any which aren't sent back to you when they should have been.
  16. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    I managed to get through to a central office to query why they needed documents they specified as the law said a certified LPA in a certain form was fine, and they said there was nothing in law to stop them asking for it how they wanted, and their corporate governance procedures had determined this was required. In this case(and several others) extra wording (different in each case) on the certified LPA which the solicitor agreed was ridiculous and did for minimal fee.
  17. Banjomansmate

    Banjomansmate Registered User

    Jan 13, 2019
    The solicitor who organised our LPAs keeps the originals and I was given one certified copy of each for free and paid £25 for any further copies. I keep one permanently and send out the spare copy if asked. They have gone to DWP, County Council Finance Dept., National Savings, Housing Association landlord of friend’s flat and probably others I’ve forgotten.
    Hospitals, Social Services and Care firms have all wanted to see H & W paperwork before they will give me information or talk with me.
    There is no reason for anybody to insist on seeing the original, that’s what a Certified Copy is for!

    At least they send the Certified Copy back, when I was sending out copies of my husband’s Death Certificate many years ago I think I got about one returned!
  18. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    My sister and I managed to get photos of all important documents ( investments, savings accounts, insurance etc) some time before we needed to step in to help mum with her finances. We went round to her house when she was away with my brother ( on a trip to Wembly to watch Manchester City!) and went through all her files and random paperwork. This has made it so much easier as we now have all account numbers, phone numbers and current statements saved in the iCloud.

    I have even started doing that for myself in case my children need to intervene using my LPAS.
  19. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    You could complain to their regulatory body.
  20. prodigal-son

    prodigal-son Registered User

    Feb 1, 2019
    I've registered an EPA with a dozen organisations over the last couple of years and it's been a very positive experience. I think most organisations are much more on the ball with POAs than was the case ten years ago. Thank you to all the people who have battled with this in the past.

    Many companies' websites now have POA information if you search for it. Failing that, as others have said, a phone call usually works. You'll almost always get your certified copy back – I think I've lost only one so far – followed by a letter of confirmation.

    I've not encountered anyone who wanted an original, but I agree that some organisations have odd – and probably illegal – requirements about when and by whom certified copies are made. I would never send an original. Just send a certified copy with a covering letter pointing out that they're legally obliged to accept it.

    As others have said, some organisations are fine with a copy by email. No-one should be sending sensitive communications by unencrypted email, but it's certainly convenient :)

    You should be able to get certified copies for £10 each (I don't live in London, though), and while you're about it, get a certified copy of your passport and driving licence. They may come in handy.

    If the donor has login credentials for websites, ask whether you're allowed to carry on using those or need to re-register. Most people seem to be OK with the attorney using the donor's account, but I don't think that's always the case.

    If you don't live with the donor, it's also a good idea to check which addresses the institution will use for which purposes. This can be quite complicated, and in fact I have found it the most challenging part of the process. Even once they have accepted the POA, some organisations will try to send correspondence to the donor, which is probably not what you want.

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