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Safeguarding my Uncles finances.

Lyndahappy

New member
Oct 16, 2020
7
Hi, I'm a new member and I could do with some advice.
My 83 year old Uncle with Alzheimer's has now become mine and my brothers responsibility since my Aunty who was his carer passed away suddenly in June,
A little bit of background, my uncle lives on his own and owns his own home, he has never been married and has no children, social services are involved. We have found it quite difficult as my uncle is non compliant and in denial he has Alzheimer's and he is obsessed with money and he believes we are after it. He lost his driving license when he went missing for a few hours a couple of years ago and now he is not looking after his bank accounts due to not being able to drive to the bank. He would not let me or my brother go for his shopping or let us take him to the bank, he will give his debit card to his neighbour who I trust implicitly and she has done his shopping taking his debit card in the past. My uncle at one point had no ready cash and tried to pay his window cleaner by handing him his debit card which he immediately gave back. Social services became involved to a greater degree when one of my Uncles neighbours rang Social services worried as I think my Uncle had told them he was starving, social services are now assessing him for more care and we are waiting to hear from them with their findings.
My Uncle has shown me a bank statement showing me which of his bills were being paid via direct debit and I'm concerned that he has a large amount in his current account. Other problems are he has shares and the company has been writing to him to say he hasn't cashed his dividends as yet, they have asked him to give them his bank details so that they can pay them directly into his bank but he refuses and won't let me complete them for him, he says he has been throwing the cheques in the bin as he doesn't want anyone to have his money.
He would not have my late Aunt as POA and has refused to make a will.
What can be done to ensure his financial affairs are taken care of?
My uncle has suffered through not being able to look after his money and some bills, BT cut off his phone line a month or so ago through non payment of bill, this is one bill not being managed that we know of. His phone is now back on after my sister in law rang BT and explained the situation, they now have him as a vulnerable customer but I don't think the bills are being paid.
I need some help, I feel a bit overwhelmed.
Thanks in advance.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
72
Would your Uncle be more compliant if you explained that the alternative to POA is that the he ends up with a court appointed deputy, which will cost him a lot of money, and there will be an ongoing charge? He clearly trusts his neighbour, perhaps she could tell him that she is setting up POA, what a good idea it is etc. , etc. Perhaps she / you could spin him some yarn about a mythical friend who ended up paying out loads of money in court fees., and how silly when it's so simple to avoid.
You can fill in the POA forms yourself - no solicitor required - and the neighbour can act as certifier.
If you know his bank details, can you set up a direct debit for his phone bill without him knowing? (Sorry, I know some will disagree with such blatant dishonesty, but you would be acting in his best interests.)

I'm not pretending any of this will work, you can only try your best.

Incidentally, does he get Attendance Allowance? If not, you can apply on his behalf.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,964
South coast
Hello @Lyndahappy and welcome to DTP.

My mum wouldnt give me POA either and I got into a similar position with regard to bills. It sounds to me as though your uncle has lost capacity to grant POA now anyway, and if so the route you would have to take is to apply to the the Court of Protection for deputyship. This is quite a long-winded route and involves a lot of papershuffling. You can get a solicitor to do it (costs about £3,000), or you can download the forms from the internet and do it yourself (cost about £400 + capacity assessment fee).

In the meantime, could you persuade him to sign the form to get his mail redirected (it might take a bit of "being economical with the truth") so that you can check his bank statements and prevent any cheques being destroyed.
 

Lyndahappy

New member
Oct 16, 2020
7
Hello @Lyndahappy and welcome to DTP.

My mum wouldnt give me POA either and I got into a similar position with regard to bills. It sounds to me as though your uncle has lost capacity to grant POA now anyway, and if so the route you would have to take is to apply to the the Court of Protection for deputyship. This is quite a long-winded route and involves a lot of papershuffling. You can get a solicitor to do it (costs about £3,000), or you can download the forms from the internet and do it yourself (cost about £400 + capacity assessment fee).

In the meantime, could you persuade him to sign the form to get his mail redirected (it might take a bit of "being economical with the truth") so that you can check his bank statements and prevent any cheques being destroyed.
 

Lyndahappy

New member
Oct 16, 2020
7
Would your Uncle be more compliant if you explained that the alternative to POA is that the he ends up with a court appointed deputy, which will cost him a lot of money, and there will be an ongoing charge? He clearly trusts his neighbour, perhaps she could tell him that she is setting up POA, what a good idea it is etc. , etc. Perhaps she / you could spin him some yarn about a mythical friend who ended up paying out loads of money in court fees., and how silly when it's so simple to avoid.
You can fill in the POA forms yourself - no solicitor required - and the neighbour can act as certifier.
If you know his bank details, can you set up a direct debit for his phone bill without him knowing? (Sorry, I know some will disagree with such blatant dishonesty, but you would be acting in his best interests.)

I'm not pretending any of this will work, you can only try your best.

Incidentally, does he get Attendance Allowance? If not, you can apply on his behalf.

Hi, thanks for your reply, he's so difficult to deal with, I have just this minute rang him and he immediately asks what am I after and why am I ringing, I must be after his house. Anything we've ever tried to help with he thinks it's for ulterior motives, he's paranoid about us, he is non compliant about everything involving his neices and nephews, he was this way with his late sister, he was down right nasty to her, I know he can't help it.
I think my late aunt claimed AA for him. I'm not really good with telling fibs, I don't really want to cause myself more anxiety or stress.
 

Lyndahappy

New member
Oct 16, 2020
7
Hi, I think you're right about him having capacity to grant POA, as for solicitors fees I don't think we could afford them. As for the post he loves getting his post and keeps everything by his side in a carrier bag.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,964
South coast
s for solicitors fees I don't think we could afford them. A
Sorry, I probably didnt make it clear - you dont pay for it, it comes out of his savings once you are granted deputyship and you can take over his accounts.

BTW, if you dont want to take this on at all, then Social Services can (and eventually will) apply themselves - although it will cost your uncle more if they do it.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
422
It looks like the court of protection is the only way to go. You don't have any rights at all right now so you can't do much at all for him. You have no right to pay his bills or open his post or anything at all. As @canary says it will take time so start now!
 

Lyndahappy

New member
Oct 16, 2020
7
Sorry, I probably didnt make it clear - you dont pay for it, it comes out of his savings once you are granted deputyship and you can take over his accounts.

BTW, if you dont want to take this on at all, then Social Services can (and eventually will) apply themselves - although it will cost your uncle more if they do it.
Thank you for making that clear, I'll take that on board going forward.
 

Lyndahappy

New member
Oct 16, 2020
7
It looks like the court of protection is the only way to go. You don't have any rights at all right now so you can't do much at all for him. You have no right to pay his bills or open his post or anything at all. As @canary says it will take time so start now!
Thank you for that, I think you're right.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,443
Yorkshire
hello @Lyndahappy
welcome from me too

it's kind and thoughtful of you to be so concerned about your uncle

one part of your initial post isn't quite accurate, though ... strictly, no adult is responsible for another adult, the duty of care for all vulnerable adults lies with the Local Authority ... though I appreciate that you feel there's some responsibility falling on you as family members and you would like to see him well supported

you say Social Services are involved, maybe leave the management of his affairs to them, including any application to be his Deputy

over the years your uncle seems to have made his thoughts clear and hasn't wanted family involved

I'm offering this different point of view as I know that I do not want any of my wider family to become involved in my affairs and would be angry if they decided to set aside my long term wishes and instead take on management of my finances

of course, as your uncle hasn't made other arrangements (you mention he has not made a will), it could be said that he hasn't been sensible in making no contingency plans so has left space for you to step in ... I guess in the end it's for Social Services to make their assessment and take it from there
 

Lyndahappy

New member
Oct 16, 2020
7
hello @Lyndahappy
welcome from me too

it's kind and thoughtful of you to be so concerned about your uncle

one part of your initial post isn't quite accurate, though ... strictly, no adult is responsible for another adult, the duty of care for all vulnerable adults lies with the Local Authority ... though I appreciate that you feel there's some responsibility falling on you as family members and you would like to see him well supported

you say Social Services are involved, maybe leave the management of his affairs to them, including any application to be his Deputy

over the years your uncle seems to have made his thoughts clear and hasn't wanted family involved

I'm offering this different point of view as I know that I do not want any of my wider family to become involved in my affairs and would be angry if they decided to set aside my long term wishes and instead take on management of my finances

of course, as your uncle hasn't made other arrangements (you mention he has not made a will), it could be said that he hasn't been sensible in making no contingency plans so has left space for you to step in ... I guess in the end it's for Social Services to make their assessment and take it from there
Thank you for your thoughts which I am grateful for, it's always good to hear alternative thoughts/opinions.

The Prime Team (Adult Social service) who are currently assessing my Uncle have another two weeks with him, things may become clearer after that regarding his needs, care etc going forward.

This has been a huge learning curve for us, it would be great to leave it all up to the experts (Social Services).
Can I just add my late Aunt (Uncles sister) had asked to have POA but he refused.











Thanks for your reply, it's good to get alternate points of view.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
422
hello @Lyndahappy

over the years your uncle seems to have made his thoughts clear and hasn't wanted family involved

I'm offering this different point of view as I know that I do not want any of my wider family to become involved in my affairs and would be angry if they decided to set aside my long term wishes and instead take on management of my finances
This point of view is fair enough if the uncle clearly stated his wishes before he had dementia. However if his opinion has only been recently formed when his thinking may have been distorted by the illness, I don't think the family should pay such heed to his wishes and should concentrate on his best interests.

It is an interesting point that those who do not wish their families to manage their affairs if they cannot do so, should either provide POA to someone else e.g. a solicitor, or should record their wishes in some sort of signed statement made when well.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,964
South coast
There are very few people with dementia who go willingly into a care home, or have carers in the home.

There comes a time when you have to stop enabling their wants and start enforcing their needs.
 

MTM

Registered User
Jun 2, 2018
34
In the first instance, I would write to the source of shares explaining and give them your father's bank details. They'Il be on the card which the neighbour can write down for you. That isn't going behind his back, it's making sure he receives monies to which he is entitled. The other thing you might try is setting up another person to look after his bank account online - like the neighbour. I have now activated my mother's power of attorney but for some years acted on Dad's (they have a joint account) and after Dad died, HSBC, her bank, allowed her to set me up as a user for her account. It depends how much the neighbour is prepared to do but if your dad agrees to them helping even if it ends up being you in their name, that might be an option. Then, if you have the details you would be able to access the account too. I regularly use my Mum's account online and I log in as Mum, which I'm not supposed to do - even with power of attorney. But if you have to pay a care team or a home, you have to do this stuff for the sake of your Uncle.

I totally hear you about the telling lies. But dementia is not logical and sometimes for the sake of the person with dementia, honesty is not an option. I lied a lot to my Dad and I lie to my Mum. It goes against the grain but, especially with Mum, the important thing is to keep the person with dementia in a calm and happy a place as possible. That's all that matters. Although I've been looking after my parents' finances since 2016. Dad died of Alzheimer's in 2019.

Whatever you decide, best of luck with it all. I don't know if I'm allowed to recommend books but I found the contented dementia sufferer very helpful in the respect of managing people with dementia.