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  • FIRST POST
    • Beenie
    • By Beenie 6th Feb 18, 4:39 PM
    • 1,179Posts
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    Beenie
    Elderly parent and bank account
    • #1
    • 6th Feb 18, 4:39 PM
    Elderly parent and bank account 6th Feb 18 at 4:39 PM
    The situation in brief: my mother is living alone in another part of the country. She has dementia. Carers have started to come in three times a day to deal with food and medication. There is a safe where I left some cash, and they draw on this for bread, milk etc.

    We thought that mother had a contactless credit card, which would be used when the cash ran out, but when the carers tried to use it, it didn't work. They are asking me to deal with the bank on her behalf. The problem is that banks are quite properly safeguarding their elderly customers, and so I think they won't deal with me, and her dementia means that Power of Attorney is not possible.

    What do I need to do to activate her card or get a replacement? It would also help if her bills could be paid by direct debit, but again, how can I get her bank to do this? Will the bank send documents/forms for signature to my address or must they go to the customer?

    Mother throws things away that she doesn't understand. As an example, I arranged for a replacement bus pass for her but there is no sign of either a bus pass or an application form in her house, and she doesn't remember me even taking her to the council offices where this was discussed. I fear that anything sent to her address by the bank will disappear in the same way.
Page 2
    • Rich2808
    • By Rich2808 8th Feb 18, 7:41 PM
    • 598 Posts
    • 452 Thanks
    Rich2808
    Are you sure you could not apply for power of attorney - sounds like she may not entirely have lost mental capacity. but is just a bit forgetful. You would need a certificate provider who has known her for two years to sign the form to confirm she is agreeable as well as your mum.

    You as an attorney can apply for her and create the form online - and if she is on benefits the cost will be nil.

    The alternative is costly and complicated.

    https://www.gov.uk/become-deputy/responsibilities
    • Beenie
    • By Beenie 14th Feb 18, 4:10 PM
    • 1,179 Posts
    • 1,218 Thanks
    Beenie
    Final question, I hope!

    I have spoken to DWP about appointeeship and that is being kicked off next week by an initial visit to my mother's home.

    I know that I must (if successful) open an account in my own name, but administered on her behalf.

    Should the account name be like this:

    Beenie Smith (for Jane Smith DWP)

    or just Beenie Smith

    (Which would be confusing because I already have a current account in my own name).
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 14th Feb 18, 4:37 PM
    • 21,708 Posts
    • 10,492 Thanks
    lisyloo
    but when the carers tried to use it, it didn't work
    My contactless works for a certain number of transactions and then I have to use the PIN, so I don't think this would work infinitely.

    The problem is that banks are quite properly safeguarding their elderly customers, and so I think they won't deal with me, and her dementia means that Power of Attorney is not possible.
    Some banks have their own process for setting up a "3rd party user". We have this with barclays and I'm pretty sure it was done with forms that mum signed.we have online access so can set up DD and pay things on-line, also debit cards.

    What do you need? Power of Attorney.
    POA can only be agreed if she is in a position to agree.
    A 3rd party agreement with the bank may be quicker, easier, cheaper if she is in a position to agree/sign for this.

    and a persons wishes no matter how unhelpful must be taken into account
    Not if she has lost capacity and can't make "safe" decision e.g. might set he flat on fire.

    She maintains that she can make decisions
    So does my MIL but the doctors and nurses who observed her for a month say otherwise. I think they are right. Obviously I can't judge but it sounds as though she could be wrong.

    I need to know more about this DWP deputyship
    look up court of protection. It's not quick or cheap although she may qualify for help.

    Pragmatically - would you be able to get a 3rd party agreement with her bank? Would she agree to sign?

    Technically it sounds as though she can't legally agree to that, but family members (like me) do things for elderly parents all the time. For example if I wanted to sort out a phone bill then I'd pretend to be her on-line or on the phone. Technically illegal but I'm usually saving her money so the chances of being sued when acting in her (and her beneficiaries) best interests are virtually nil.
    Last edited by lisyloo; 14-02-2018 at 4:40 PM.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 14th Feb 18, 4:38 PM
    • 21,708 Posts
    • 10,492 Thanks
    lisyloo
    I know that I must (if successful) open an account in my own name
    I am (DWP) appointee for my MIL and I don't handle money. Merely authorised to fill in forms and speak over the phone on her behalf.
    • Beenie
    • By Beenie 14th Feb 18, 6:18 PM
    • 1,179 Posts
    • 1,218 Thanks
    Beenie
    I was advised that benefits would be paid into a separate account, and it would then be my responsibility as appointee to be sure that the monies were administered in her best interests. There was a section on benefit fraud etc.

    So, my understanding is that I will receive the benefits and pay mobile hairdresser, chiropodist, Tesco delivery and Molly Maid cleaners on her behalf.

    Have I misunderstood?
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 14th Feb 18, 7:00 PM
    • 25,119 Posts
    • 14,801 Thanks
    xylophone
    https://www.gov.uk/become-appointee-for-someone-claiming-benefits

    According to the above, the benefits are paid to you.

    There seems to be no need for the account you open for this purpose to be specially designated.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/226777/Appendix-02_An_example_of_form_BF57.pdf



    You might set up a new, simple, non interest paying account in your own name and use it only to receive the benefits and make payments to the carers/cleaners/ grocery delivery people etc as required.

    It might be preferable to opt for bank statements on this account to be sent through the post rather than provided on line.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 14th Feb 18, 7:02 PM
    • 16,162 Posts
    • 40,847 Thanks
    elsien
    No, you've understood correctly. You can do it just in your name, I think. It's ok to have two current accounts with the same bank as they have different account numbers, cards etc. I have two with my bank for my own use.

    The problem with the third party mandate as suggested by lisyloo is that they are only meant to be in place for as long as the person has capacity. Although I'm sure many people carry on using them for long after they should have stopped because it's quicker and easier for them. It could also leave them liable to accusations of improper use in the future.
    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.
    • Beenie
    • By Beenie 14th Feb 18, 7:31 PM
    • 1,179 Posts
    • 1,218 Thanks
    Beenie
    Thanks.

    I actually want a separate account for my mother, with statements, so that any credits/debits are totally transparent and traceable. I do not want it mixing with my own bank account, what is the point of that? The possibilities for mixup and confusion are endless.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 15th Feb 18, 9:44 AM
    • 21,708 Posts
    • 10,492 Thanks
    lisyloo
    Have I misunderstood?
    No and I agree that's what is says.
    My MIL's money still goes to her account. As she's in a nursing home she's only gets 25 a week so not much opportunity for fraud, but we all have everything recorded for our own peace of mind. Could you ask DWP which it is?

    Are there any other family members (sibling?) who need to be consulted.
    Even if you are doing the right thing it's best to consult people and have them "on board" and consulted even if the chance of them being offended or offering to help is zero.
    Last edited by lisyloo; 15-02-2018 at 12:46 PM.
    • datlex
    • By datlex 15th Feb 18, 7:28 PM
    • 1,596 Posts
    • 1,475 Thanks
    datlex
    The situation in brief: my mother is living alone in another part of the country. She has dementia. Carers have started to come in three times a day to deal with food and medication. There is a safe where I left some cash, and they draw on this for bread, milk etc.

    We thought that mother had a contactless credit card, which would be used when the cash ran out, but when the carers tried to use it, it didn't work. They are asking me to deal with the bank on her behalf. The problem is that banks are quite properly safeguarding their elderly customers, and so I think they won't deal with me, and her dementia means that Power of Attorney is not possible.

    What do I need to do to activate her card or get a replacement? It would also help if her bills could be paid by direct debit, but again, how can I get her bank to do this? Will the bank send documents/forms for signature to my address or must they go to the customer?

    Mother throws things away that she doesn't understand. As an example, I arranged for a replacement bus pass for her but there is no sign of either a bus pass or an application form in her house, and she doesn't remember me even taking her to the council offices where this was discussed. I fear that anything sent to her address by the bank will disappear in the same way.
    Originally posted by Beenie
    If you speak to the DWP they can arrange for you to sign forms so that they can deal with you. My partner's dad has dementia and he has been able to deal with some things without POA due to the DWP actually coming out and visiting.
    My mother is in receipt of pension and housing benefit. She lives in rented accommodation. Her council tax is paid in full by the Benefits Agency hor whatever they are called these days). She can't go into a care home because she says she doesn't want to - and a persons wishes no matter how unhelpful must be taken into account (so I am told by social services).


    What I need is someone who works in a bank, who has observed a similar situation, and can advise how we help a demented widow like this. She has money, paid into her bank account regularly by the state, but she can't access it, neither can her council carers and neither can I as her daughter. That is the problem, and that's where I need advice as a close relative but someone without PoA.
    Originally posted by Beenie
    As a dementia sufferer she will be entitled to pay no council tax. As for care home. The wishes of the person override all other people's including their family whilst they are considered safe at home. Keep in mind that a fall can happen in a care home, just as much as in the person's own home. Have adaptions been made to your mum's home. Does she have telecare or a fall detector?
    Thanks.

    I actually want a separate account for my mother, with statements, so that any credits/debits are totally transparent and traceable. I do not want it mixing with my own bank account, what is the point of that? The possibilities for mixup and confusion are endless.
    Originally posted by Beenie
    You may need to visit your mother on a day the bank is open. Take her to the bank with proof of ID and they can advise you together how to proceed. They may for example set a daily spending limit. We have done this with my partner's dad and the bank has been very helpful.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 15th Feb 18, 10:00 PM
    • 25,119 Posts
    • 14,801 Thanks
    xylophone
    Keep in mind that a fall can happen in a care home, just as much as in the person's own home.
    But the faller would be likely to be discovered and assisted more quickly.

    And wouldn't be in a position to do as below.

    Gradually, it has got so that she is turning off the heating all the time, has disconnected the phone, uses a pan to boil water on the stove when making tea,
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=73740071#post73740071

    I have arranged for a new line to be installed, and this is what the temperature/smoke alarm system is being wired to. When social services arrived a few days ago, she had removed the phone again.
    You may need to visit your mother on a day the bank is open. Take her to the bank with proof of ID and they can advise you together how to proceed.
    It would appear that the OP's mother would find it difficult to cope with a conversation at the bank.

    As for ringing the bank, she cannot hold anything in her head for more than 5-8 minutes. I would have to sit next to her and prompt every bit of the conversation, which the bank might find a tad suspicious.
    There does come a point where unless there is full time day and night care available, remaining at home alone is no longer a safe proposition.
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