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Time to apply to COP for deputyship - what happens next?

dtritz

New member
Jan 8, 2022
4
0
Bit of background and a few moving parts to this but hoping for some general advice/help on this.

My grandmother has been living with her son in her long term home for the last several years since my grandad died. It's apparent that her memory has been declining over the last couple of years but her son and her have effectively been caring for each other and it has worked for them.

Unfortunately there was a fire at the house in which my uncle died, so my nan is temporarily living with my parents while the house is repaired (a couple of hundred miles from where she lives). It has become clear that some decisions are now going to have to be made about long term care, what that looks like, trying to keep things as 'soft' as possible in that regard as my nan has been a very independent and strong willed woman all of her life. It is not viable for her to stay with my parents as there is no room (she is sharing a room with my mother currently).

An appointment has been made to visit a local doctor for assessment and with that there will probably be some interaction with adult social care. It seems that the right and proper thing now is to apply to the COP as there has never been any LPA registered and this is something I have suggested. However, as I understand it this will mean her assets are frozen and no decisions can be made during the process without individual emergency/urgent orders being granted by the court for each issue.

What I don't understand is what help and support is available while the bank account etc is frozen. I get that this is important to stop any financial abuse but what are the actual mechanics of this? I am worried that this could impact on a few things:

The ongoing insurance claim to repair the house
There is a lifetime equity release mortgage against the house, what will happen to this
If an assessment needs to be made and a care strategy is decided how is this paid for and how is this assessed without access to her bank etc (she has very little in the way of assets other than anything over and above the mortgage repayment as an when that happens

We're not in a position to pay for legal assistance for this and I have offered to sort paperwork for the COP. I just want to make sure I am suggesting the right things in the right order and that taking these actions isn't going to blow everything up and make things worse for everyone, my nan included.

If anyone has any experience or advice, or any questions it would be very gratefully received.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
16,776
0
South coast
Hello @dtritz and welcome to talking Point.
I applied to the Court of Protection for deputyship for my mum, but Im afraid that I dont know the answer to your question as mums bank accounts were never actually frozen.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
11,304
0
Yorkshire
Hello @dtritz
A warm welcome to DTP

I wonder why you are considering applying to be a Deputy rather than helping her to arrange LPAs
If your grandmother has capacity to grasp what the LPA is and wants to go ahead, that would be more straightforward for you all, and much less costly overall ... and in the meantime, someone can help her follow through on decisions she makes

I'm not sure about accounts being frozen either ... though if your grandmother no longer has capacity to make decisions about her finances, no one else has the legal authority to deal with her affairs until there is a Deputy, or DWP Appointee, so some of her affairs may have to go on hold
 

dtritz

New member
Jan 8, 2022
4
0
Thanks for the responses so far. We did look into getting an LPA in place but it seems fairly clear that she would not meet the standard of having capacity as she would not remember making the decision. If we are to involve the doctor and social services I suspect they will say as much and so I assumed the COP was the only option.
 

nita

Registered User
Dec 30, 2011
2,277
0
Essex
Just to add, that if your grandmother has no other savings, income or assets, just DWP benefits such as her state pension, then you or your mother can apply as @Shedrech has said, to become her DWP appointee.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
11,304
0
Yorkshire
hi @dtritz
your grandmother does not have to remember all the details ... the certificate provider will check that she is able to grasp what she is doing at the time .. have a look through the info, the certificate provider can be someone who has known her well for a few years eg a good friend or neighbour
 

NORTHSIDE

Registered User
Jan 28, 2017
85
0
Northumberland
Thanks for the responses so far. We did look into getting an LPA in place but it seems fairly clear that she would not meet the standard of having capacity as she would not remember making the decision. If we are to involve the doctor and social services I suspect they will say as much and so I assumed the COP was the only option.
Hi and Welcome to Talking Point. I put in place an LPA for my wife who suffers from Alzheimer's. I, together with an independent friend acting as Certificate Provider, explained what an LPA was for and the benefits of having it. Although it was obvious that my wife would not retain this information for any length of time, she was able to grasp an overall understanding at that instant and agreed to the LPA.

The current guidance on the Government website under the heading of checking mental capacity recognises that ''Mental capacity can come and go (for example, with dementia and some mental illnesses)'' and goes on to say ''You must check that a person has mental capacity to make a decision at the time it needs to be made'' ''They can make the decision if they can remember the information long enough to make the decision''
you can find the full text at www.gov.uk/make-decisions-for-someone/assessing-mental-capacity

I hope that is helpful, I'm sure putting an LPA in place will be far easier and cheaper than the COP route. Good luck and best wishes for whichever route you decide to choose.
 

dtritz

New member
Jan 8, 2022
4
0
OK, this is very interesting and thanks again. There aren't really any independent family friends who have known her for a long time. Initially my Aunt's partner (who had never met my nan until this all happened, had taken it upon himself to arrange the LPA amongst helping with other paperwork). He has been acting very cagey throughout, insisted on handling everything, refusing to hand over paperwork to the family when he said he would and that kind of thing. After hearing first hand about my nan's memory, her not remembering who I am when I saw her over the Xmas period for a few days and not remembering the house she has just left, I assumed she would not pass any capacity assessment and so an LPA would not be appropriate based on what I read on citizens' advice and gov.uk .

I persuaded the family that an LPA application was not the right way to go given the situation but now I'm worried I've potentially caused unnecessary issues.
 
Last edited:

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,451
0
Are you saying that an LPA is already in place and your Aunt's partner is the attorney?

Your grandmother does not have to remember signing the LPA indefinitely. She has to understand what it is, who will be taking over management of her finances, and weigh up the options. For example "do nothing" is an option with consequences that she must be capable of evaluating. If you don't think she could do that then you are quite right to be looking at Deputyship.

I don't know about the freezing of funds, hopefully someone else will know if that is likely.
 

dtritz

New member
Jan 8, 2022
4
0
Thanks Martin, there is no LPA in place currently. My Aunt's partner was looking to organise one with my Aunt and Mum as attorneys, and him as 'administrator'. His behavior over the few weeks that he was handling things was very odd and people became suspicious of his intentions.

After some limited research I suggested to the family that it would probably be too late to get an LPA in place if Nan already had clear signs of Dementia, couldn't remember people or her situation etc. I assumed that if we registered an LPA, and then triggered this as soon as as registered that this would be a red flag. All the guides I read pointed to 'memory' of being a key measure of capacity, but it's clearly more nuanced than this.

Will the doctor be able to advise better on where she is at in order for us to choose the correct path?

Thanks again for everyone's help.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,451
0
By all means get advice from the doctor but you can evaluate her capacity yourself.
1. Does she understand information given to her in relation to a specific decision ( e. G. Where to live). Explain to her what help she needs, the diagnosis, how the disease progresses, what the risks are from different strategies such as living alone, etc. Test her understanding by getting her to explain back to you. Keep it as simple as possible, she isn't expected to be an expert.
2. Can she remember this whilst she decides? If she has forgotten the start of the conversation by the end of it, she fails this test.
3. Can she weigh up the pros and cons of different options. Ask her to tell you what she thinks - but remember that whether you agree or not is not relevant.
4. Can she communicate her decision.

Remember that capacity is related to one decision at a time. Anyone who tells you " Mrs X has lost mental capacity " without reference to a specific decision doesn't understand it.
 

HelpInOut

Registered User
Oct 19, 2021
42
0
By all means get advice from the doctor but you can evaluate her capacity yourself.
1. Does she understand information given to her in relation to a specific decision ( e. G. Where to live). Explain to her what help she needs, the diagnosis, how the disease progresses, what the risks are from different strategies such as living alone, etc. Test her understanding by getting her to explain back to you. Keep it as simple as possible, she isn't expected to be an expert.
2. Can she remember this whilst she decides? If she has forgotten the start of the conversation by the end of it, she fails this test.
3. Can she weigh up the pros and cons of different options. Ask her to tell you what she thinks - but remember that whether you agree or not is not relevant.
4. Can she communicate her decision.

Remember that capacity is related to one decision at a time. Anyone who tells you " Mrs X has lost mental capacity " without reference to a specific decision doesn't understand it.
Capacity is complex. Hospital staff and SS often bandy the term about without little knowledge of the subject. Capacity can vary from day to day, but also, someone may have capacity to make a decision about what to have for their breakfast or what trousers to wear, but not about whether they need a shower or one that involves analysing complex information about medication or treatment .
When my father was in hospital the nurses were find of telling me he had " capacity" when I asked if they could try and get him to do his exercises. " He's got the sheet with them on and his abbreviated mental test score was 9 /10" My answer was " Did he lose the point on the short term memory question? "
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,451
0
Capacity is complex. Hospital staff and SS often bandy the term about without little knowledge of the subject. Capacity can vary from day to day, but also, someone may have capacity to make a decision about what to have for their breakfast or what trousers to wear, but not about whether they need a shower or one that involves analysing complex information about medication or treatment .
When my father was in hospital the nurses were find of telling me he had " capacity" when I asked if they could try and get him to do his exercises. " He's got the sheet with them on and his abbreviated mental test score was 9 /10" My answer was " Did he lose the point on the short term memory question? "
Yes quite right. Capacity is decision specific. Even those with advanced dementia may be able to decide what shoes they prefer. But big decisions that involve complex issues may be beyond them. I sold my father's car in the teeth of his objections because he didn't understand his diagnosis or the implications of it and so couldn't make a decision to retain the car after losing his driving licence. The diagnosis was vital information and the risk that he might forget and drive the car wasn't something he could understand so he did not have capacity to decide.
 

HelpInOut

Registered User
Oct 19, 2021
42
0
Yes quite right. Capacity is decision specific. Even those with advanced dementia may be able to decide what shoes they prefer. But big decisions that involve complex issues may be beyond them. I sold my father's car in the teeth of his objections because he didn't understand his diagnosis or the implications of it and so couldn't make a decision to retain the car after losing his driving licence. The diagnosis was vital information and the risk that he might forget and drive the car wasn't something he could understand so he did not have capacity to decide.
agree completely.