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When POA is in the wrong hands

SMacGregor

Registered User
Feb 11, 2021
31
0
What happens when two siblings have POA (not health and welfare) and one wants to spend whatever it costs to make the lone parent safe and happy in their own home and the other wants to avoid all expenses to protect their inheritance? It really makes me mad that those that benefit from a person's Will can also be in charge of that person's finances when they are no longer mentally able but that they have a vested interest in conserving the money. Can I get a third person inovolved?
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,498
0
I'm not sure what you're expecting a third party to do. Is the power of attorney written that both attorneys work jointly or jointly and severally?
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
3,522
0
West Hertfordshire
I suppose a third party- not either of the POA's other halves- could be asked to sit in on a arranged discussion - difficult to find someone neutral though.

Its quite difficult place to be. Are we talking vast sums of money? I my opinion ( and it is only that) there is little that money can buy to make a PWD Happy. What sort of things are we talking about?
'safe' maybe different- what sort of longevity to these things have? I can see that buying things that might make someone 'safer' for long time are with investing in, not so sure about short term things.

Depends what it is to an extent. Are either of these people doing the lions share of the caring, and what sort of sums are looking to be spent? A wetroom conversion can be worth the small fortune that it costs, a stairlift perhaps not so.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,282
0
What happens when two siblings have POA (not health and welfare) and one wants to spend whatever it costs to make the lone parent safe and happy in their own home and the other wants to avoid all expenses to protect their inheritance? It really makes me mad that those that benefit from a person's Will can also be in charge of that person's finances when they are no longer mentally able but that they have a vested interest in conserving the money. Can I get a third person inovolved?

I would go onto the web site carehome.co.uk.
I would find a nice glossy looking care home and obtain a brochure and a direct quote for the weekly cost. £1500 per week? I would say to the sibling given we can’t agree on keeping mum comfortable at home should we be considering this ?

I buy mum every gadget going! And pay for a gardener a cleaner and a carer when I am not here. When you set the costs against that of a care home it all looks very cheap.

You can hire independent social workers. Someone like that might be a good mediator? But that would not come cheap.

If it gets extreme you could consult adult safeguarding?

Is this about sibling rivalry or is he money obsessed?
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
2,877
0
Hi @SMcGregor, I think if possible the siblings should try and have a frank discussion about their different viewpoints. My husband is one of four siblings and the four of them very nearly fell out completely on the best way to care for their mother. All four adore her (as do I) and want the best for her, but all had very different ideas as to what that 'best' was. After a lot of text messages, phone calls and zoom meetings they've all compromised and have a plan (carers coming in) that is just about working. It won't work for long, but at least they are still talking to each other.
 

SMacGregor

Registered User
Feb 11, 2021
31
0
Thank you - it helps to have other opinions. I think the frank discussion is definitely due.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
739
0
People with power of attorney must act in the interests of the donor i.e. the person who has dementia. They must ignore their own interests. Having said that they don't have to be wasteful. If an expense will improve the person's safety and quality of life and they can afford it then certainly you should go ahead. But there is a need for common sense too. Don't buy top quality new carpets to last 20 years if the person is unlikely to live for 5.

If you're unable to reach agreement there is nothing wrong with arbitration if you can agree on who will arbitrate.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,467
0
North West
What happens when two siblings have POA (not health and welfare) and one wants to spend whatever it costs to make the lone parent safe and happy in their own home and the other wants to avoid all expenses to protect their inheritance? It really makes me mad that those that benefit from a person's Will can also be in charge of that person's finances when they are no longer mentally able but that they have a vested interest in conserving the money. Can I get a third person inovolved?

It's always difficult to reconcile these things with different members of family having different takes on how things should proceed. I think we forget that best interests means all of those things including care that would enhance the life of the person who the POA is about. One thing for certain is that POA is not about protecting inheritance, though I don't think anyone would deny it would be nice to have something left over. I know my mum would want be sure something was left as part of her legacy, but her best interests and her money to achieve those interests come first and foremost. I am sure some may find that painful, but that is the reality of being POA. The current system is unfair in many ways, but until there is change it is a cross us POA's have to bear. Money is a great divider and brings out sides of people we didn't see before.

Getting a third person involved is diffcult, because the idea of POA is that it shouldn't be necessary. In other words the point of POA is to be able to make decisions for the donor without having to involve a third party.

It would be useful if you could eloborate more of the story of what the issues are, its a bit vague.
 

SMacGregor

Registered User
Feb 11, 2021
31
0
It's always difficult to reconcile these things with different members of family having different takes on how things should proceed. I think we forget that best interests means all of those things including care that would enhance the life of the person who the POA is about. One thing for certain is that POA is not about protecting inheritance, though I don't think anyone would deny it would be nice to have something left over. I know my mum would want be sure something was left as part of her legacy, but her best interests and her money to achieve those interests come first and foremost. I am sure some may find that painful, but that is the reality of being POA. The current system is unfair in many ways, but until there is change it is a cross us POA's have to bear. Money is a great divider and brings out sides of people we didn't see before.

Getting a third person involved is diffcult, because the idea of POA is that it shouldn't be necessary. In other words the point of POA is to be able to make decisions for the donor without having to involve a third party.

It would be useful if you could eloborate more of the story of what the issues are, its a bit vague.
Hi
To fair, I was not just referring to my own circumstances. It has highlighted to me how vulnerable these people are and in the hands of people who benefit financially from decisions made about their care. And oh yes money is a great divider. This week's example - we have come to the painful conclusion mum would be better in a care home. My brother's first question - let's not make that decision until we know how much her house is worth and whether there will be enough to buy me somewhere to live after putting two years aside for potential care fees for mum! He did not word it quite like that but that was his reaction. And after receiving a favourable quote that gives us £200k to cover 2/3 years care fees and £300k to invest and another property (that he can live in until we potentially need to release funds again) he then says 'oh thats not enough to buy anywhere decent round here, I would have to rent it out and then use the rent with my wages to rent somewhere bigger' - funnily enough he has never had enough wages to pay any rent or towards any of the house maintenance in all the years he has lived in mums house. He seems to miss the point if we rented that investment property out the income would go towards mums care not his pocket! this is driving me MAD.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,467
0
North West
Hi
To fair, I was not just referring to my own circumstances. It has highlighted to me how vulnerable these people are and in the hands of people who benefit financially from decisions made about their care. And oh yes money is a great divider. This week's example - we have come to the painful conclusion mum would be better in a care home. My brother's first question - let's not make that decision until we know how much her house is worth and whether there will be enough to buy me somewhere to live after putting two years aside for potential care fees for mum! He did not word it quite like that but that was his reaction. And after receiving a favourable quote that gives us £200k to cover 2/3 years care fees and £300k to invest and another property (that he can live in until we potentially need to release funds again) he then says 'oh thats not enough to buy anywhere decent round here, I would have to rent it out and then use the rent with my wages to rent somewhere bigger' - funnily enough he has never had enough wages to pay any rent or towards any of the house maintenance in all the years he has lived in mums house. He seems to miss the point if we rented that investment property out the income would go towards mums care not his pocket! this is driving me MAD.
I agree with @Sarasa to seek advice. One thing is for certain you need to resolve this, which is never easy I'm afraid. Any income from the donors assets is theirs -its that simple. Either way your brother will either have to pay rent or a mortgage if I have got the gist of this.
 

SMacGregor

Registered User
Feb 11, 2021
31
0
This is such a tricky situation @SMacGregor. It might be worth talking through all the options with the support line on 0333 150 3456 or email at dementia.connect@alzheimers.org.uk.
If the social worker deems her not to have mental capacity then I will go to her solicitor and discuss the need to sell the house to pay for care and my brother's input can be addressed legally. However, if the social worker does not come to that conclusion (which I believe is the correct conclusion) then my hands are tied. He is actually forcing my hand to release funds through equity release if he does not agree to downsize and sell so in the long run he really will lose 'his inheritance' - I won't see mum go with a low level of care just to preserve what he already thinks of as his.
 

SMacGregor

Registered User
Feb 11, 2021
31
0
I would go onto the web site carehome.co.uk.
I would find a nice glossy looking care home and obtain a brochure and a direct quote for the weekly cost. £1500 per week? I would say to the sibling given we can’t agree on keeping mum comfortable at home should we be considering this ?

I buy mum every gadget going! And pay for a gardener a cleaner and a carer when I am not here. When you set the costs against that of a care home it all looks very cheap.

You can hire independent social workers. Someone like that might be a good mediator? But that would not come cheap.

If it gets extreme you could consult adult safeguarding?

Is this about sibling rivalry or is he money obsessed?
He has historically been useless with money so he has none so it is important to him. I just want him to make decisions on her care not based on his financial needs but I guess that is impossible. An Independent social worker may help - I will investigate. Thank you.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
739
0
A couple of points:
The brother can't use her money for anything at all other than her care and the maintenance of her property etc during her lifetime. So selling her house and using the proceeds to buy a property for a son is out of the question unless, bizarrely, he is going to pay her full rent for it and it can be demonstrated to be a good investment for her to make.

The social worker isn't a High Court Judge and has no more right than anyone else to decide if the lady has capacity for a decision to move into a care home or sell a house. Capacity has to be judged separately for every decision. She might have capacity to decide to buy new shoes or a bar of chocolate but not to decide where to live. The attorneys are as entitled to judge capacity as anyone. A social worker who isn't directly involved can only give advice.
 

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