I sold a house last year that was jointly in the names of my wife [who has dementia] and myself. We did not sell the house to pay care costs though. My wife's care is covered by the NHS and she lives in a nursing home. However, the house was too big, too expensive to run, too isolated and had too many memories for me to remain there alone.
We had a registered EPA already, and this enabled me to sell the house, and purchase another one - still in joint names [though Jan will never see it] to protect her equity, in case that is ever called on for care costs.
My understanding is that, not only do you have to have a registered EPA, but that you may also have to have a trustee appointed to look after the person's interests.
See a solicitor or, better still, either phone the Alzheimer's society help line, or call the Public Guardianship Office.
I had to sell my Mother's house last year, not to pay for costs as she is funded by the NHS but because sadly my father passed away three months after Mum was placed in the Nursing Home and at the time we thought we would have to pay for her care. In any case the house was empty and no longer needed.
I went to the Courts to act as a receiver for Mum then had to have their permission to sell the property. The funds are then placed in a high interest Account at the Courts.
Same experience as Jazzy, though I recall when my Aunt signed the original EPA that the solicitor advised that it was an extremely powerful document with which an attorney could "even sell your home". I suspect any EPA would be legally acceptable but an unregistered one would raise a lot of questions particularly when the legal bits were being done. One of the estate agents asked to see the EPA but another did not.
Just to add - the estate agent and the solicitor wanted to see the registered EPA when I put my mother's house on the market. It wasn't an easy decision,as 3 generations had been there for 70 years. However, I decided to sell it, as it was obvious my mother was never going to go back there. I'm now using the proceeds to fund her care in a nursing home, which is so far working out well.
Thank you very much for your kind words. I have received much encouragemet from all the postings on tp from everyone out there who knows what it's like. The mechnics of selling the house were hard work, but the hardest thing is that I've not yet told my mum her house has been sold. When I took the decision she didn't know what day it was. Now settled in a nursing home - although that's not the right word, as she is sad and unhappy most of the time, despite the care being really good - and a lot better, she has started saying we must sell the house. We're now moving towards a very quick sale - my way of including her. In my opinion little white lies don't matter, if it avoids distress.
We DO have to register the EPA now that Jean has no clue what is going on and it will make selling the house easier too apparently. We have a very nice solicitor who is sorting out registering it. I know we could do it ourselves but I feel happier and safer having a professional do it.
It has taken Gav a long time to come to terms with selling the house as this is the last tie to the village he grew up in, since his mum died and now his nan lives in residential care near us. It is very difficult for him but he knows it is for the best. He says it feels like she has died and in a way she has cos the woman in the home is nothing like the nana he grew up with.
I feel really bad for him and am trying to make it as easy as possible but it never was going to be the nicest thing to do.
The Attorney is not granted the powers until the EPA is registered with the Court of Protection.
Once the application to register has been made, the Attorney is granted limited powers over the Donor's finances (for example can sign cheques), but this does not include major transactions such as the sale of a house. You would need until the registration is complete to do that.
It is also possible to draw up limitations in an EPA, so it is worth checking it to ensure that the Donor did not specify that the Attorney should not have the authority to sell the home etc.
Because I am thinking of selling the house, when Monique eventually moves into a home, in order to help fund it, I called the 'help' line and the response was:
For anything really major - like selling houses, Moving large sums of money etc you need to contact the 'Court of Protection' and have them send you the relevant forms and/or write explaining your intentions and the reasons etc... Permission will not normally be withheld but it would be considered an 'offence' if you did not contact the 'court of protection' before.
On another forum (sailing of all things) I learned yesterday the the Power of Attorney system is going to change in April. It will not affect already registered POA but from then on the moment it is signed it has to be registered. I gather there are other changes regarding the power (increasing it???) of the attorney.
All the above is hearsay and I have not seen any Gov. info..
I sold my mums house last year, slightly different though as I am a receiver and not an attorney.
But think the basis are the same, you have to get court approval to sale property (in my case had to have a legal document from the court giving me the authority to sale the propety). The proceeds of the sale have been deposited with the court, something I think only receivers have access too.
Yes, I agree with Micheal the law is changing and Enduring Power of Attorney will be replaced in April of this year and the new document will be called and Everlasting Power of Attorney. (I did a lot of research last year) I believe the new document will also cover decision relating to care, but I could have interpretated the documents I was reading incorrectly.
I think they have also put more restrictions on who can have this power.
But I am sure over the course of this year and people will start appling for the new EPA, these things will come to light on this forum.
My understanding of the situation is that in order to make major financial decisions on behalf of whoever you are holding the POA for you need to inform the court of protection..... Which means the POA must have been registered. That takes one month before it can be done in order to give other close relatives time to object.
Actually a POA is just that. Once it is actually signed in theory you can do whatever it authorizes you to do. The registration only happens when you decide that the person who gave it to you has actually lost it... Slightly unusual for that to happen overnight but - who knows? Happens.
I think you could well sell the house on her behalf without registration perfectly legally except the purchasers solicitor might feel more comfortable with a registered POA...
In that case the POA would have to be registered very soon after your mum has signed it... If that is what the purchasers solicitor requires... I think I would prefer to see a registered POA if I was spending thousands buying a property.
Well, we met with the solicitor this morning and the EPA was signed by all concerned. I am still confused over the registering of it however.
The solicitor said we could use its powers immediately and we were now able to sell her house for her. Said he would make half a dozen copies which he would 'certify' and we just had to take them to all parties concerned for them to see.
Under these circumstances, I don't see why it has to be 'registered' at all.
My understanding is that POA is for somebody who retains sufficient mental capability to make their own decisions but for a variety of reasons wants to empower somebody else to 'sign' for them... Lots of reasons for that situation.
Once somebody becomes so mentally incapacitated that they are unable to make rational decisions - then the POA has to be registered with the 'court of protection' and the person holding the POA makes decisions as well as acting on the persons behalf.
Frankly for day to day stuff I can see no reason to rush out and register it. I held Monique's for a about a year before registering although for much of that time she was actually incapable... It is just when you get into the area of selling property on their behalf - really major financial decisions that perhaps it should be registered.... I think...