1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

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The rules governing funds held by Nursing Home residents

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Tony Heare, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Tony Heare

    Tony Heare Registered User

    Sep 13, 2004
    14
    Newport, South Wales
    Please be patient with this gripe/question. I am a 47 year old male and an only child. My father died on 23.12.2003 and my mother has been in a nursing home with Alzheimer's for 7 years. My father left their home to my mother when he died and I have now obtained Court of Protection to handle my mother's affairs since her doctor has stated that she is not capable of doing so. The house is currently on the market, but I have been informed that the whole of the proceeds will go to the local authority that owns the nursing home and that they will take out what they feel is necessary to pay for my mother's fees.

    My argument is this (and PLEASE do not think that I am being mercenary or just a money-grabber) - my mother is 72 and her life is basically getting up in the morning, being dressed by someone, being fed by someone, being taken to the toilet by someone, etc, etc, etc. She will never leave the Home to enjoy any sort of life outside ever again; she doesn't know who I am, what day it is or where she is. I pray that she lives until she's 90 or older, because I love her to death, but why should the authorities sit on quite a substantial amount of money when my wife and I could use it to our benefit and ultimately to the benefit of our kids.

    AS I SAID EARLIER, I HOPE THIS DOESN'T COME ACROSS AS MERCENARY, I JUST CAN'T GET OVER THE FUTILITY OF THEM HAVING THIS MONEY, WHEN, IN 20 YEARS TIME, I WILL PROBABLY BE IN A HOME MYSELF AND THE WHOLE CHAIN OF EVENTS WILL START AGAIN FOR OUR KIDS.

    ANY THOUGHTS, IDEAS, INFORMATION, FEEDBACK ANYBODY?
     
  2. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Tony,

    I totally agree with you.

    If you now have Power of Attorney to handle your mother's financial affairs, then you need to consult a Solicitor URGENTLY. You will probably need to supply copies of both of your parents' wills, all current bank statements, as well as documentation as to whom has been paying the Nursing Home fees, etc.

    Have you received any information in writing from the Local Authority? It all sounds rather irregular to me. I would not have thought that anyone could just annexe the entire proceeds of your parents' estate in that manner.

    Please let us know how you get on.

    Best wishes,

    Jude
     
  3. Sally

    Sally Registered User

    Mar 16, 2004
    114
    London
    Dear Tony,


    I hear what you are saying and be assured it is a feeling shared by thousands of carers around the country.

    Do you have an EPA for your Mum or receivership? I know that with receivership, the Court of Protection has a special account into which the proceeds of the house sale can be kept and the interest on that account is unusually high. There will probably be a direct debit/standing order set up to pay the home monthly from this money. However, the Court will allow 'gifting' of money to family members on special occasions (birthdays/weddings etc) of I think up to £3000 per year per person so in this way the family can still benefit from the money your mother would have wanted them to enjoy. You will need to write to the Court requesting this each time.
    If you have an EPA (enduring power of attorney) check with the Court about using the special account, gifting however, operates under the same rules as it does for receivership.

    When your mother's money hits £20,000 (this year's rate) the local authority start to contribute and the savings go down more slowly. Once they get to £12,250 she keeps that, it cannot be touched.

    Incidentally, make sure your mother receives the attendance allowance to put towards her care fees.

    The Society is campaigning for free care for people with dementia but at the moment this is the situation.

    Regards,
    Sally.
     
  4. Chris

    Chris Registered User

    May 20, 2003
    243
    Hello Tony

    I am in much the same situation as you.

    When you say you have "now obtained Court of Protection" do you mean you have been appointed as 'Receiver under the Court of Protection ' for your mother? or was there an Enduring Power of Attormey in place ?

    Hope we can help you as this sounds a very odd situation with the local authority.

    Chris
     
  5. frazer

    frazer Registered User

    Sep 9, 2004
    42
    london
    Hi Tony,
    we have experienced a similar situtation. As everone sas, you must see a solicitor and be completely frank with them - dont worr about what they may think you are, thats their problem. You can make a "Deed of Variation" within two years of your father's death that can effectively split the inheritance 50:50 between your mother and children. You need to check the circumstances that allow you to do this, we had Power of Attorney.
    Good luck!
     
  6. Tony Heare

    Tony Heare Registered User

    Sep 13, 2004
    14
    Newport, South Wales
    A huge thank you to Frazer, Chris, Sally and Jude for your comments and information. It's nice to know there are people out there who do understand and care.
    I have received a Court of Protection to handle my mother's affairs - I have been asked to open a bank account in order to control the spending on my mother, but my solicitor (not my choice, but my dad's when he made his will) has told me that the proceeds from the sale of the house (on the market at £84,000) would go to the local authority who have been paying for my mother's fees and they would make a charge against it to reimburse them. Then, I imagine, the fees would then have to be met from what's left, until such time as either my mother passes on or the balance reaches a certain level.

    I hate a system that forces people who have worked all their lives to have to sacrifice their hard-earned property, etc, just to pay for care in their later years.

    Any information from anyone that helps against this happening is much appreciated, so that I can do something NOW before the house is sold.


    ONCE AGAIN, MANY THANKS TO THE PEOPLE LISTED ABOVE!!!
     
  7. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Tony,

    Frankly the current situation stinks!

    My father worked as a teacher for 40 years, scrimped and saved to buy a house; paid rates; paid tax; paid interest on savings; went without all sorts of luxuries to provide a wonderful home for us as a family and paid NHS contributions faithfully. What happens now?

    Three years' ago, I had to sell our family home of 40 years in order to pay for close accommodation care and care fees because the NHS do not recognise AD sufferers as part of their system. Having installed my parents in to close care accommodation, we were further advised after 2 years, that the Blair Govt had changed the ruling on Nursing Homes, so that my parents were forced to move AGAIN because the Home did not have EMI status.

    AND - please don't forget, that any money left over after paying for horrendous care fees will be liable to Inheritance Tax of 40% should the joint finances remaining be over £250,000.

    In hindsight, I would much rather my parents have had a whale of a time and blown the lot - instead of carefully planning to leave myself and my brother the proceeds of their life's toil.

    My father came from a very poor family and was so concerned about saving for the future, that we didn't even own a TV until 1967. We had a large garden and a lovely bungalow. My parents grew all their own vegetables and I well remember how excited we were when my father single handedly installed central heating - although sometimes it had to be turned off because the gas bills were just too expensive. It wasn't until my grandmother died that my mother inherited a fairly large sum [in those days] and they were able to splash out a buy a reasonably new car - and my parents were very worried about being so extravagant about it! Sounds a bit Monty Pythonish really.

    So, after all that saving and restraint, they NOW have to fork out thousands to keep them in comfort in their later years...? Current quotes are around £6000 per month for both of them - and in separate Homes. Forget it...!!! If so, then I will keep them at home, living on caviar and driving a Rolls Royce and with the central heating on full blast every day...!!! So far as I can see, they deserve every single luxury that I can get for them.

    I have absolutely NO intention of making the Inland Revenue or some Care Home the biggest beneficiary of their wills. It's my parents' money and their hard earned savings and if I spend it all to ensure their comfort and continuing health then I will do so - the rest can go 'whistle Dixie'...!!

    Jude
     
  8. frazer

    frazer Registered User

    Sep 9, 2004
    42
    london
    Dear Jude, Tone etc . .
    yes the system stinks. But that doesnt mean we let it take advantage of us.
    Tony, You are have a carer's heart that makes you are look out for others - unfortunately the rest of the world is waiting to take advantage of you (not quite!) and you have to think kike a baxxxxd.
    This is a battle, and you have to plan it from day one. Get hold of your nearest Alzheimer's association and ask them to recommend a solicitor. Get the free half hour (and then go to the next one if neccesary) You can't put this off. information is power, and there are fixed timescales for some things. The social will not tell ou this as they have a budget to protect and you are not their (primary)concern.
    And all this when you feel most vulnerable and least able. You are tired, fed up, way beyond your own strength. Tough. one day it will change, one day we will get together and create our own care village (with a pub), but not this week.
     
  9. frazer

    frazer Registered User

    Sep 9, 2004
    42
    london
    P.S. it will also have SKY so we can watch the football
     
  10. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Jude
    I agree with all you say.I worked for myself for 20 years all hours that God sent,in a caring profession.
    Then 20 years in the NHS.
    I paid for my pension,we struggled to buy our own house and ended up comfortable financially.
    We now have no real future and there is no way any council are going to get their dirty corrupt little mits on our hard earned savings.
    I intend as you do,with you parents, to keep my wife at home and use whatever finance we may have for her benifit.
    Depending how long we survive we might flog the lot and live in a tent.
    Feel better now
    Love
    Norman
     
  11. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Norm,

    I sincerely hope it will be centrally heated tent!

    The issue of my parents' finances is one that is absolutely guaranteed to send me ballistic, as you've probably noticed over the past months.....

    I now realise why the Government is so keen on people saving money.

    Jude
     
  12. Tony Heare

    Tony Heare Registered User

    Sep 13, 2004
    14
    Newport, South Wales
    Once again, many thanks to Frazer, Norman and Jude, mainly for your humour as much as for your help - it made me smile for a change!

    I am starting to come around to your ways of thinking, in that I would like to spend the proceeds of the house sale on my mother to give her what she worked so hard to enjoy, BUT, she is in a nursing home, as opposed to being at home with us. We have been told that under NO circumstances can my mother be allowed out anywhere, because she poses a danger to herself as well as anybody else. Nice sentiments, huh? She's a frail, 72 year old woman who couldn't harm anyone if she tried - they are basing this on the last 7 years, when the dementia kicked in and she gave me and my dad HELL and I mean hell!! You've all been through it, you know what I mean - we didn't understand why she was acting like she did, now it's (seemingly) too late. When the house sells (and if necessary, I'll let it go cheaper for a quick sale AND to stop anyone else having a larger share), what do I do? What can I legally do? I've got a solicitor that frankly doesn't inspire me, I'm going to see the Citizens Advice Bureau tomorrow and all I really want to do is just get this whole episode over and done with. With my father's illness, this whole sorry business has being going on for nearly 3 years now and it's starting to drain me, physically and definitely emotionally. Sorry if I sound like a big wuss, but that's how I feel.

    Before I finish waffling, can anyone give me any information about such things as 'gifting' of money, 'deed of variation' and attendance allowance.


    Thank you all for your help and patience.
     
  13. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dar Tony,

    I'm not surprised you are feeling frazzled after 3 years of this. If you aren't happy with your Solicitor, then get another one! A second opinion might be a good idea.

    Gifts - £3000 pounds a year can be gifted tax free.
    Attendance Allowance - from Social Security - although your mother should have been receiving this for some time. If not, then you do need to sort it out pronto.
    I'm not familiar with Deeds of Variation, so please do let us know when you find out.

    Regarding the sale of the house - if you don't need these funds immediately, then it might be wise to get the maximum price at sale, in case you next extra funds later.

    Hang on until you get the situation clarified tomorrow with Citz Advice.

    Is your mother not allowed out, even under supervision with your family?



    Best wishes,

    Jude
     
  14. frazer

    frazer Registered User

    Sep 9, 2004
    42
    london
    Deed of Variation enables you to vary the terms of the will if done withn 2 years of the death. For instance if wife leaves all of share of house to husband, it can be varied to leave it to children. It helps with thresholds, tax, and means the whole house value isnt taken into consideration in determining contributions to care . .probably more stuff as well. You have to get a friendly solicitor to explain this to you, you should let them know all the circumstances. Alz Soc will recommend a local one.
    Good Luck!
     
  15. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    #15 Norman, Sep 16, 2004
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2004
    Frazer
    you will all be sick of hearing me say this,get a financial advisor.
    One skilled in wills,they know all the legal angles and are a great help.
    First cosultation free.For an independent financial advisor near to you try
    www.unbiased.co.uk
    No I do not have shares in any advisors!
    Good luck
    Norman
     

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