Uncle's assets unknown pending PoA - how to handle risk of dropping below £23k care threshold?

StephenD

Registered User
Jan 24, 2024
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My uncle's financial affairs - including a direct debit to his care home - were handled by his son until the latter died unexpectedly last month. I am now his next of kin and have applied for power of attorney, but in the meantime I have no access to his finances. And no idea what he's got. I am worried that his assets could go, or indeed have already gone, below £23,250 (or even below zero) before the PoA comes through. Is there anything I can do?
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
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I assume that you mean that you have applied for deputyship.

If your nephew was living with someone can you ask him/her whether you could look through his papers relating to your uncle. Alternatively, if the LA carried out a financial assessment then you could ask them about your uncle's finances at the date of the assessment and do a calculation based on that.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
30,885
0
Bury
Did you mean power of attorney?
If so he has capacity and can grant you third party access.

If the application is for Court Of Protection Deputy all you can do is to attach an request for an interim order to access the accounts.
 

StephenD

Registered User
Jan 24, 2024
20
0
I assume that you mean that you have applied for deputyship.

If your nephew was living with someone can you ask him/her whether you could look through his papers relating to your uncle. Alternatively, if the LA carried out a financial assessment then you could ask them about your uncle's finances at the date of the assessment and do a calculation based on that.
It's PoA - he still has capacity but is in his nineties. His nephew seems to have done everything online and paperless. Would the LA have carried out a financial assessment for someone who was privately funded?
 

StephenD

Registered User
Jan 24, 2024
20
0
Did you mean power of attorney?
If so he has capacity and can grant you third party access.

If the application is for Court Of Protection Deputy all you can do is to attach an request for an interim order to access the accounts.
Yes it's PoA, he currently has capacity and he accordingly signed the application. I had understood that getting access to his finances was the purpose of applying for PoA, but he can just sign a letter to the bank giving me access??
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
30,885
0
Bury
The purpose of an LPA is for a donor with capacity to grant access that lasts if the donor looses capacity.

Third party access allows access but becomes void if donor looses capacity.

Still carry on with the LPA application(s)
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
7,236
0
Chester
My mum was self funding.

When she moved into a care home there was no LA involvement and therefore no financial assessment.

Previously she'd been in sheltered extra care with the care provided by the LA. I therefore had to complete a self funding form - on which I wrote - significant assets self funding. This was never revisited in the 9 years she was there. I was invoiced monthly by the LA.

So if your uncle had significant assets no financial assessment will have taken place.

In the short term 3rd party access as detailed above seems a good option, make an appointment with his bank to determine the process - ask for the person who deals with LPA as you then should get someone who understands what is needed.(some banks are easier to make appointments with than others )
 

Logan

Registered User
Nov 1, 2010
813
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Just a thought here, but would it be possible for you to speak with the LA explaining that you have applied for PoA but in the meantime (and in order not to have any payments due to the LA to mount up - and you want to keep them "in the loop" etc etc? You would not be asking for any sensitive finances but you would like to stay on top of things, and also for Uncle not to be concerned. His Welfare is Paramount (tell the LA).
Certainly speak with the bank (they have to be protective of their customers, of course). Ask if they would accept a signed request from Uncle - witness by the Care Home Manager or an appropriate person. Uncle is elderly and visiting the bank would cause him physical distress? LXX
 

StephenD

Registered User
Jan 24, 2024
20
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Thanks all. I will ask the Home about any assessment they made of his ability to pay when they admitted him; and the bank as to whether they would accept a signed and witnessed letter as he's not mobile. Though the Home has been as reticent so far about his finances as I suspect the bank will be...
 

StephenD

Registered User
Jan 24, 2024
20
0
A cheque from his only known bank account has just bounced. The Home say they didn't do a financial assessment, and for whatever reason don't seem to know what account his fees come from! What can I do if his assets have actually gone down below zero? Will he be able to stay at the home on tick until the local authority starts paying? Is it possible that the local authority would pay back fees to restore the £23,250 that he'd have been allowed to keep?
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
7,029
0
@StephenD I do not know enough about this to answer your question and am wondering if it would be useful to contact the Alzheimer's Society help desk for advice. I have attached a link below.

 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
2,146
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Has the care home said that your uncle has stopped paying his fees? Is it aware of your nephew and is it aware that he has died and you are now next of kin?

I'm puzzled by the cheque as you have said that your nephew did everything online. Who signed the cheque and who was it made payable to?

Is it possible that the bank has just frozen the account? This can happen if the bank becomes nervous about the account.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
30,885
0
Bury
My uncle's financial affairs - including a direct debit to his care home

A cheque from his only known bank account has just bounced.

Why cheque not direct debit?
How do you know he has only one bank account?
He could have both current and savings accounts with same bank with nephew moving money between them, or another bank could be involved.

The Home say they didn't do a financial assessment, and for whatever reason don't seem to know what account his fees come from!
The home can easily find out by asking its bank.

If he still has capacity push the bank for third party access.
Until you know the state of his finances its pointless worrying about what may or may not happen.

Don't agree to pay anything.
 

StephenD

Registered User
Jan 24, 2024
20
0
Has the care home said that your uncle has stopped paying his fees? Is it aware of your nephew and is it aware that he has died and you are now next of kin?

I'm puzzled by the cheque as you have said that your nephew did everything online. Who signed the cheque and who was it made payable to?

Is it possible that the bank has just frozen the account? This can happen if the bank becomes nervous about the account.
Judging by what papers we have found, it looks like money has been moved around and some accounts closed, including the one the chequebook was for. The chequebook was the only thing we'd located that could potentially be used to draw money (my uncle signed it to pay his paper bill, which I ended up paying). The Home won't divulge financial info until I get PoA (though I'm confident they wouldn't waste time divulging non-payment!) I think I've uncovered where the Home is drawing the money from and will see if my uncle can apply to give me third party access until the PoA comes through.
 

StephenD

Registered User
Jan 24, 2024
20
0
Why cheque not direct debit?
How do you know he has only one bank account?
He could have both current and savings accounts with same bank with nephew moving money between them, or another bank could be involved.


The home can easily find out by asking its bank.

If he still has capacity push the bank for third party access.
Until you know the state of his finances its pointless worrying about what may or may not happen.

Don't agree to pay anything.
He has, or has had, several bank accounts and bonds, opened, closed, matured, moved, removed. It will be complicated as and when I do get PoA! Fees are paid via direct debit (but the Home won't divulge that info until I have PoA). The chequebook was just the only tangible thing that turned up in my cousin's house, he had probably transferred the money out of it. Yes I will arrange for my uncle to apply for third party access for me to two accounts for which there is recent documentation. I suspect from that docuentation that he probably has a year's worth of fees left, so not as worried as I was before. I have already personally paid for regular sundries but absolutely could never agree to pay the eyewatering fees!
 

StephenD

Registered User
Jan 24, 2024
20
0
I have spoken to the bank that seems to hold the account paying his fees. None of the possible ways of getting Third Party Access is feasible because they all involve either a phone call where he has to hear them and answer questions about recent transactions and passwords or bringing him in physically. It can't be done by simply having him sign a printed form. The PoA probably won't come through until May or even June - and even then there will be hoops to jump through.
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
7,029
0
Hi @StephenD I would again suggest that you contact the Alzheimer's Society helpline. They might be able to advise you how to find your way through this maze. I have again attached a link below.

I am also wondering if it might be useful to contact your local MP or councillor to see if they can help.