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  • FIRST POST
    • DesperateScousewife
    • By DesperateScousewife 14th Apr 17, 6:36 PM
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    DesperateScousewife
    Changing will of a person with dementia
    • #1
    • 14th Apr 17, 6:36 PM
    Changing will of a person with dementia 14th Apr 17 at 6:36 PM
    My brother and I have power of attorney for my mother who is 86 and has Vascular Dementia.
    Her Psychiatrists secretary rang me last week and told me the Dr had received a letter from a solicitor with a letter attached from my mother giving her permission for the Dr to assess her to sign her will.

    My mother and father (died 2015) made mirror image wills in 1999.
    My solicitor has told me that the will cannot be changed unless my mother wasn't of sound mind when she made it or there is a mistake on it, which there isn't.

    Brothers miffed because their house goes to me, any cash left is divided between us. I have looked after mum and dad all my life. He moved away over 30 odd years ago and would only visit once, maybe twice at year at most. Mum has never been business minded and myself and the family doubt she has mentioned changing her will.

    Any advice please? TIA
    Last edited by DesperateScousewife; 14-04-2017 at 6:50 PM.
Page 2
    • BobQ
    • By BobQ 17th Apr 17, 8:45 PM
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    BobQ
    OP You said at the start that your brother and you had PoA.

    A LPA? EPA? Do you jointly hold the authority? Or is it you with him as the reserve? Does it cover just finance or heathcare too?

    Have you tried speaking to your Mum's solicitor about the matter of her dementia? I think a word with her GP about her capacity would make sense.

    Its a stressful time for you I can see. A terrible disease at any age.
    Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions.
    • DesperateScousewife
    • By DesperateScousewife 18th Apr 17, 7:46 PM
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    DesperateScousewife
    Thanks for replies. Needed a couple of days off to rest my mind iyswim.

    Brother and I have joint LPA for finances. Nothing regarding health. Which is what I'm concerned about.
    Over weekend brother has called the care agency concerned that he can't get through to mum on the phone. They have not contacted me. It was lunchtime carer today who told me! I've rang care agency today and demanded to know when he called. If he was so concerned why not get in touch with another family member who could tell me?
    Also the times care has been cancelled and when her medication hasn't been given. Despite me talking to one of their staff last week and he assured me it was flagged that nobody but me could cancel care, I've learnt that brother cancelled today's care as he 'was visiting'. Funnily enough it would have coincided with mums assessment day that was cancelled. And he never turned up!
    Last edited by DesperateScousewife; 18-04-2017 at 8:19 PM.
    • DesperateScousewife
    • By DesperateScousewife 18th Apr 17, 8:01 PM
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    DesperateScousewife
    Mum doesn't have a solicitor....yet. And our surgery has been run by locums who don't know Mum.

    It's 100% my brother who wants the will changed. Mum never talks about money ever. In fact you can't have a real in depth conversation with her. She still can't remember signing anything. If she has done she's been coerced by my brother.
    He knows mum and dad had mirror wills. They leave the house and contents to me and any residue i.e. Cash, between us. Dad was sharp as a tack till the day he died 17 months ago. He made me read the will and was adamant it was what he and mum wanted. As I said previously, brother has only visited once or twice a year for many many years. Dad passes away and suddenly he's up here regularly knowing mums got dementia.

    I told dad that I would take care of the kids, mine and brothers. Dad had specific requests ...not written but his brothers knew about them....he told me but brother hasn't let me carry them out.
    Without a doubt brother is only interested in money. The last time we spoke was after brother had ignored me for almost six months. I told him I don't expect him up here all the time, but a bit of support by phone would be nice. That was when I was verbally abused. I didn't take it lying down! . He'd had a drink and was in my face with his fists clenched.

    All of this has been making me so ill.

    Any advice would be so helpful.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 18th Apr 17, 8:54 PM
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    GDB2222
    When you say your mum doesn't have a solicitor yet, who has written to the doctors asking for an opinion about her capacity?
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • DesperateScousewife
    • By DesperateScousewife 18th Apr 17, 9:05 PM
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    DesperateScousewife
    My brother has got solicitor to write to my mums psychiatrist. With a letter attached from my mum giving her permission to be assesed to sign 'her will'.

    When I say my brother. The psychiatrists secretary said there was no name on the solicitors letter about who instructed them. After informing them mum already had a will she spoke to the psychiatrist.
    She then called me back and said psychiatrist wouldn't do the assessment as planned as he was unaware of all the facts and he was writing back to the solicitor.
    Then she says she would call my brother as a after of courtesy. Brother has never been in contact with psychiatrist before.
    Last edited by DesperateScousewife; 19-04-2017 at 8:54 AM.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 19th Apr 17, 9:16 AM
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    GDB2222
    My brother has got solicitor to write to my mums psychiatrist. With a letter attached from my mum giving her permission to be assesed to sign 'her will'.

    When I say my brother. The psychiatrists secretary said there was no name on the solicitors letter about who instructed them. After informing them mum already had a will she spoke to the psychiatrist.
    She then called me back and said psychiatrist wouldn't do the assessment as planned as he was unaware of all the facts and he was writing back to the solicitor.
    Then she says she would call my brother as a after of courtesy. Brother has never been in contact with psychiatrist before.
    Originally posted by DesperateScousewife
    That's certainly put a really big spoke in his wheel!

    I cannot see why the solicitor wrote to the psychiatrist unless he was instructed by your mother. I think you should work on the basis that he is your mother's solicitor.

    What happens next depends on how determined your mother's new solicitor is to plough on. From the solicitor's point of view, it's difficult. He doesn't yet know whether your mother is competent to instruct him and pay his fees. I do not think he can get paid by your brother if she isn't, so he's doing any work now on the off-chance that she is shown to be competent.

    If your mother's doctors refuse to answer questions, the solicitor can commission an entirely independent report, but that could be very expensive, and the solicitor would initially have to fund the cost out of his own pocket. If the report comes back saying she is competent, she can pay all the costs (the psych's fee and the solicitor's fee), but if it comes back saying she isn't, the solicitor would end up out of pocket.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • DesperateScousewife
    • By DesperateScousewife 19th Apr 17, 9:29 AM
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    DesperateScousewife
    What do you think of Sevenofnines suggestion about getting mum to write a letter saying she doesn't want an assessment or to change her will. Could maybe include her not remembering to sign any letter previously?

    I think this would prove she is not capable of signing any legal documents. My daughter would chat to mum and ask her to do this. Last thing
    I want to do is put mum under any stress.

    Another thought.... mum hasn't left the house since 9th November last year. She couldn't actually go to a solicitors. Mums will is in my safe. When I last seen brother before he stopped communicating with me. He said mum wanted to see her will. I took it round there (copy) and she didn't look at it, just handed it to him.
    Last edited by DesperateScousewife; 19-04-2017 at 9:38 AM.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 19th Apr 17, 10:43 AM
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    GDB2222
    If you get her to sign a document, doesn't that just prove that in your view she has capacity?
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 19th Apr 17, 10:46 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    If you get her to sign a document, doesn't that just prove that in your view she has capacity?
    Originally posted by GDB2222
    Of course not! The person needs to understand what she is signing and the consquences of doing so. That is what "Capacity" means.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 19th Apr 17, 10:52 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    What do you think of Sevenofnines suggestion about getting mum to write a letter saying she doesn't want an assessment or to change her will. Could maybe include her not remembering to sign any letter previously?

    I think this would prove she is not capable of signing any legal documents. My daughter would chat to mum and ask her to do this. Last thing
    I want to do is put mum under any stress.

    Another thought.... mum hasn't left the house since 9th November last year. She couldn't actually go to a solicitors. Mums will is in my safe. When I last seen brother before he stopped communicating with me. He said mum wanted to see her will. I took it round there (copy) and she didn't look at it, just handed it to him.
    Originally posted by DesperateScousewife
    I don't think you should get her to sign anything unlessthere is clear proof that she has capacity. What has your brother done with the will? Is he likely to destroy it?
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 19th Apr 17, 10:54 AM
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    GDB2222
    Of course not! The person needs to understand what she is signing and the consquences of doing so. That is what "Capacity" means.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Can you explain that some more?
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • DesperateScousewife
    • By DesperateScousewife 19th Apr 17, 11:07 AM
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    DesperateScousewife
    I don't think you should get her to sign anything unlessthere is clear proof that she has capacity. What has your brother done with the will? Is he likely to destroy it?
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Dad told me before he died to take the wills and keep them in my safe. Without a doubt brother would have destroyed them after reading them and finding they weren't entirely in his favour. Wills I have shown him have been photocopys.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 19th Apr 17, 11:07 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    Can you explain that some more?
    Originally posted by GDB2222
    Legal capacity means that the person has sufficient mental capability to understand what they are doing and the consequences of thie actions. With a will they need to fully understand what the document is and fully understand the consquences of them signing it. The problem is that dememntia is not a static condition and people may have periods of time when they do fully understaand what they are doing and not have a clue at other times. There is no one size fits all solution but professionals will probably tend to err on the cautious side by only certifying "capacity" if they are really sure.
    • DesperateScousewife
    • By DesperateScousewife 19th Apr 17, 11:22 AM
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    DesperateScousewife
    So it won't be helpful to see if mum would sign a letter?
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 19th Apr 17, 11:25 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    So it won't be helpful to see if mum would sign a letter?
    Originally posted by DesperateScousewife
    I don't see any point. It would have no legal force. The important thing is to get possession of her existing will and if she does have capacity see if she wants a new one but don't pressure her.
    • DesperateScousewife
    • By DesperateScousewife 19th Apr 17, 11:25 AM
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    DesperateScousewife
    Legal capacity means that the person has sufficient mental capability to understand what they are doing and the consequences of thie actions. With a will they need to fully understand what the document is and fully understand the consquences of them signing it. The problem is that dememntia is not a static condition and people may have periods of time when they do fully understaand what they are doing and not have a clue at other times. There is no one size fits all solution but professionals will probably tend to err on the cautious side by only certifying "capacity" if they are really sure.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    This sounds like mum. She crafty enough to tell Psych nurse/ social workers what she thinks they want to hear (alaways same thing) and sit there all smiles, but next day be totally clueless.
    • DesperateScousewife
    • By DesperateScousewife 19th Apr 17, 11:27 AM
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    DesperateScousewife
    I don't see any point. It would have no legal force. The important thing is to get possession of her existing will and if she does have capacity see if she wants a new one but don't pressure her.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    I have the original so I will show her it. Actually my daughter will show her it and ask what she wants to do.
    It's knowing if shes considered to have the capacity though. It's all a big stress!
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 19th Apr 17, 12:37 PM
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    GDB2222
    I have the original so I will show her it. Actually my daughter will show her it and ask what she wants to do.
    It's knowing if shes considered to have the capacity though. It's all a big stress!
    Originally posted by DesperateScousewife
    I would not do this in your position. You are quite happy with the present will. Leave your brother to try to show that she has capacity, which is going to be an uphill task if her psychiatrist won't provide a report.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 19th Apr 17, 12:41 PM
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    Mojisola
    My brother has got solicitor to write to my mums psychiatrist. With a letter attached from my mum giving her permission to be assesed to sign 'her will'.

    When I say my brother. The psychiatrists secretary said there was no name on the solicitors letter about who instructed them. After informing them mum already had a will she spoke to the psychiatrist.

    She then called me back and said psychiatrist wouldn't do the assessment as planned as he was unaware of all the facts and he was writing back to the solicitor.
    Originally posted by DesperateScousewife
    This does all sound very dubious.

    If your mother wanted to change her will, wouldn't she have discussed it with you as her main carer?

    In this situation I think I would step back and let things settle.

    If your mother asks about her will, show her a photocopy. Don't risk the original - if your brother can destroy it and claim that she did it, her estate will have to be divided according to the intestacy rules.
    • Newlifer17
    • By Newlifer17 20th Apr 17, 3:11 PM
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    Newlifer17
    I had all this with my Mum . She lived with me for 5 years until her dementia got so advanced I had to get her placed into residential care. One of my brothers was going up to borrow money from her which was highlighted to me by the care manager. After a lot of hassle I managed to get Court of Protection as her dementia was too advanced for Power of Attorney. She was assessed as not to have mental capacity so I was appointed her deputy for her financial and health care decisions.
    Please don't leave it too late to think about residential care or contacting court of protection. I know you say the carers are doing a good job but your Mums welfare is paramount, and I found in my case my brother getting money was more important than him taking advantage of her state of mind.
    Luckily we managed to get her will sorted when she moved in with me but she never had property or anything so less complicated and she wanted her money to be divided equally between me and my 3 brothers.
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