PoA or court of protection for elderley mother..implications/considerations

Hi All,
I am considering.whether to take poa or court of protection.for my mother.she was diagnosed with memory loss more than 5 years back by her GP, still independent but things are starting to head downhill with her self care so am in process of applying for care in the house from local cc.
Who needs to assess whether she lacks mental capacity? I think this will determine if poa is applicable or court of protection.
As an FYI..I am my mother's only child and her carer /next of kin etc.I am of adult age so not a dependent etc. My basis for considering poa or c.o.protection is to minimise issues and stress later if I need to step in on certain matters e.g: care fees if her dementia advances etc
I've had initial conversations with legal people who are all suggesting court of protection but if poa is an option won't discount that. Also any other implications or things to consider before putting things into motion...I hear the application for court of protection can be long, arduous and expensive.


  • Browntoa
    Browntoa Posts: 49,299 Forumite
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    edited 22 March 2019 at 12:06PM
    You need an independent witness who knows you mum to certify that she has capacity on the LPA forms , can be a neighbour or friend

    Definitely do LPA for health and financial as attorney you are able to decide when your mum no longer has capacity to make decisions.

    LPA takes about 8 weeks normally , do the forms yourself and send them off , any mistake and they send those pages back and tell you exactly what the issue is . They are extremely helpful
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  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,698 Forumite
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    edited 22 March 2019 at 12:14PM
    The starting point is to presume she has capacity unless evidenced otherwise.

    If she has capacity it is her decision as to whether or not she wishes to make a power of attorney, and who she wishes to appoint. You can have the conversation about why it's a good idea, but if she declines that's her choice.
    Capacity is time and decision specific.
    Can she understand the relevant information around a power of attorney, remember it for long enough to weigh up the pros and cons, and communicate her decision? It doesn't matter if she's forgotten a week later, if she meets the previous criteria.

    If anyone is likely to challenge at any point you would be wise to make sure that the above is properly evidenced. It is more costly, but a solicitor would do this if they were drawing up the power of attorney. Otherwise, someone who knows her well and can have a proper conversation with her about it on one of her better days.

    If she is willing and able, I'd suggest POA for both finances and health/welfare.

    It's only if she lacks capacity around this specific decision that you would go down the deputyship route. Deputyship is not a quick process so best started before you really need it.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • noclaf
    noclaf Posts: 892 Forumite
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    Thanks guys I may try LPA route first and if any roadblocks or someone says it's no go will review and think about alternative options.
    Overall there should be no complications..my maternal side family (mother's siblings) are supportive and there should be no issues.only potential consideration is if it's later deemed that she does not have enough capacity..if that's the case will look at deputy/court of protection route.
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,698 Forumite
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    Just so you are aware if you have to go down the deputyship route, there the CoP rarely grants health/welfare ones as they consider the best interests process generally covers the bases. So if mum is able to do a power of attorney that would be preferable.
    Have a think about whether some days/times of day are better for her cognition because those would be the times to have the conversations.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
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