Great 'managing money with dementia' Hunt



  • sammyhammy
    sammyhammy Posts: 160 Forumite
    arowen wrote: »
    :( Forgive me for stating the obvious, but if the LPA was not registered then he had no legal right to access her money.

    It was probably an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) that did not need to be registered to be used. An EPA only has to registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) when in the opinion of the Attorney the donor is, or is becoming, incapable of managing his/her finances. This has meant that there are many more unregistered than registered EPA.

    The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) brought in on 1st October 2007 does have to be registered before the Attorney can act. At least with the LPA system suspected abuse by an attorney can be reported to the Office of the Public Guardian.

    I would also make another point about spotting dementia. I have seen numerous cases where a spouse has very effectively covered for a husband or wife with dementia. This can mean that even close family members are unable to spot the signs of dementia until the protective spouse is suddenly taken ill or dies. In these cases it may be too late for a Lasting Power of Attorney to be made and an application to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputy is required.

    As a specialist solicitor (I'm not sure if I can mention Solicitors for the Elderly) I would recommend a LPA to anyone of any age. However, the Attorney must be a person the donor trusts to manage finances, as it is a powerful document.

    A Lasting Power of Attorney is not just of relevance to the elderly or those with deteriorating mental health. It is something that everyone should consider. Solicitors can help with drafting LPA, but it is not essential and I know that the OPG has worked hard in consultation with many organisations to improve the forms and simplify the process for those creating a LPA for themselves.
  • hoopstars
    hoopstars Posts: 24 Forumite
    You are indeed correct it was an Enduring Power of Attorney that was held, sorry I was so keen to write and warn people that I didn't think of going through the mountains of paperwork I hold, to check. We have spent hours and lots of money consulting Solicitors but as you say with an EPA it is up to the Attorney to decide capability and they basically have free reign!:(
  • hoopstars
    hoopstars Posts: 24 Forumite
    edited 3 March 2011 at 11:43AM

    the point of your post however remains the same. it is a real shame that there weren't other members of the family named as well as her partner - if in doubt, make sure that more than one attorney has to be involved in any decision making. if not in doubt (i have joint LPA for my mother with my sister) then it is much simpler letting one of them get on with it!

    I have replied to a later post confirming that it was an Enduring Power of Attorney not Lasting Power of Attorney that my Mother-in-law signed, sorry. However unfortunately we (the family) only found out about the EPA, transfer of house, money being used long after it was done.
    As you say joint decision making, in my opinion, is the best way forward.
  • hoopstars
    hoopstars Posts: 24 Forumite
    Sorry I intended to quote from an earlier post but obviously have not got the hang of how to do that. The first paragraph is actually a quote.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,020 Forumite
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    G_M wrote: »
    The best thing you can do is take action before diagnosis.

    You'd have to be pretty blind, or never around, not to realise your mum/dad was slowing down and finding it harder to grasp things like finances long before actual dementia diagnosis.

    So organise a Lasting Power of Arrorney. Your mum/dad/whoever can then specify who they want to help them with finance as their attorney before they become incapacitated. If it is several years till they acytually need help, so what? If/when the time comes, registering the POA is easier because it already exists, and was drawn up while they still understood what they were doing.
    As others have pointed out, this would be excellent advice, but you can't force someone deemed to have capacity to take out an LPA, nor can you force them to appoint the best person as their attorney!

    I was also struck by what was said about one spouse covering for the other's dementia. FIL seems worse every time I see him, but MIL brushes my concerns - for her as much as for him! - aside. BIL still lives at home, but even he just says that things are 'not too bad'. They may not be TOO bad yet, but I don't think they have put any thought into how to find what support might be available when they do need it.
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • I was fairly lucky to have both my parents draw up EPAs, and then we asked them to become tenants in common so that each would only have to sell their half of the property for care fees, thus protecting each other. We also did a nil band rate (hazy on that but it is a protection for them). Finances/bank acs were split 50/50 with one joint one for running the house. It took nearly 6 months to activate mums epa and a lot of running around trying to find out a bank/bs who would allow up to 3 names on the a/c (when shared) and to have the words poa (power of attorney) on the cheque book so there was no misunderstanding. It was fraught but has worked out now. Make sure you/they apply for Attendance Allowance, Continuing Health Care (when needed) - this can and will be a fight!! LPAs had not come into being but they are better as they encompass the health side.

    Alzheimer's Society, Carers Uk, Age UK have many pampleets that can be downloaded and are a great source of info. Good luck.
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,654 Forumite
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    It sounds a very small thing, but install energy saving lamps. They save money but because they last 6-9 years, you know that your parents is not going to be walking around in the dark or trying to replace lamps when they are not really capable. My mother wrecked 2 light fittings before I did this.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • sweetpea123
    sweetpea123 Posts: 14 Forumite
    This is brilliant to read. At the moment, Mum is not too bad but becoming increasingly forgetful. I have asked her GP to test her for dementia but as she has an under active thyroid, he seems to think that's what is wrong. I will keep asking and checking. I and my partner will be moving to support her and my learning disabled brother this year - after we've finished extending and renovating her house.
    The main problems we have at the moment are the people who phone her to say her "sky" insurance needs renewing. She has one (after I cancelled about three others she had because she forgets she already has it) and I always have to phone them every few months to check they are still trading (they are) - the people who phone say they have gone bust and that's why they have Mum's details.Every month she has all these calls but thankfully Mum now says "my daughter deals with my finances".There are some very unscrupulous people out there and it frightens me.
  • luxor4t
    luxor4t Posts: 11,125 Forumite
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    We have registered MiL on the Telephone Preference Service as she is very easily persuaded to do rash things - eg change fuel suppliers etc - it has cut down on the 'nuisance' calls, thank goodness.

    We also got her a radio-controlled clock so that there is a least one clock showing the correct time in her house. This might not sound money saving but did give her a better chance of being ready for appointments - if she'd 'forgotten' the time it meant taxis etc!
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • My mother was 8 years into her Alzheimer's when my dad took her to a solicitor's to get a new will drawn up. They realised she wasn't ok and insisted on her consultant co-signing the will - which she did!!! My dad died 6 weeks later and when I rang this useless consultant she advised me that she "hadn't liked to tell my father the truth" - ie she was too far gone to know what she was doing. When I complained in writing she denied she'd ever said this to me! Now I've got a firm of solicitor's looking after my mother's affairs instead of me and they're bleeding her dry, over £50,000 in the first 16 months! Don't ever, ever let your parents get solicitor's to look after their affairs, they are legal robbers. They haven't done a good job at all and I get no where complaining. As for the court of protection - don't get me started on that nasty, useless bunch of incompetants.
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