- Acting on behalf of elderly parents with Dementia
Hi looking for guidance please?
Both parents are in a rapidly deteriorating health condition (both in their 80s) and it would appear that they have not made any provision for their affairs (no will etc) as they had always assumed one would take care of the other if anything happened. A perfect world?
Mother is now in a care home with Lewy Bodies Dementia. And we’ve managed to get dad in to a nice, new sheltered accommodation flat. The issue is he has been in a state of denial that she has any care needs and has refused to tackle any decisions without her. So after a few months in his new flat he now appears to lack capacity too, with deteriorating mental agility(!) – possibly Vascular Dementia, possibly Frontotemporal issues.
Social Services have recently reviewed and provided me with a report that concludes that as he “failed three parts of a four part test, he lacks mental capacity to make informed decisions about his finances”.
DWP are visiting me tomorrow to formally act as an Appointee for their pensions and any benefits, which is a positive step.
I have written to utilities and quite a few Red ‘demand’ letters who appear to have backed-off for now but
I now need to start a more formal process to take over their financial affairs – they have a house (still mortgaged) and several small bank account balances all over the place; post diversion required etc.
Unfortunately I feel fairly uncertain where to go next with people referring me to Court of Protection, Deputyship and Power of Attorney….are these one and the same or if not is there an optimum path? Do I need to apply twice (one for each parent)? Fees applicable? Evidence required?
Can I simply cross reference to Social Services reports?
Sorry may be obvious just not my familiar territory…Posted 3 years ago
If your mum and dad lack capacity then sadly they are beyond the point of being able to appoint an attorney under a lasting power of attorney.
That being the case then if you need to make day to day decisions or deal with property or bank accounts then the Court of Protection and an application for deputyship is probably your next port of call. It would be well worth check and getting advice on how your parents house is held as between them as part of the deputyship application can involve asking for new legal owner’s to be appointed or making sure the deputy has the power to sell if need be.
It is not as intimidating as it might appear. See..
Been through similar with grand parents. It’s a tough job and I sympathise.
Luckily I managed to get a POA in place while they were still competent and then just filed it away until it was needed. Not sure where you start without one.Posted 3 years ago
My Dad works for DWP and deals with this sort of stuff all the time. He’s off on holiday for a few days, but if you are still seeking direction by Thursday, fire me a PM and i’ll get him to provide some feedback.Posted 3 years ago
You can apply for POA through the courts if they are not capable. Obvioulsy getting one whilst they are is best, can you talk your mum into signing one ? You should get proper legal advice. Do you have any brothers and sisters, are relations good so it will be a straightforward process/division of assets when that time comes ?
EDIT: Nipper’s link is a good one.
Best of luck, tough times.Posted 3 years ago
Morbid though it sounds, anyone with ageing parents should have a frank discussion about signing you on as Attorneys as soon as you can. There are forms online that help, or a solicitor will charge about £500 for the service. It’s a relatively complicated process (not to say a bit longwinded) , but gets more complicated and expensive if you leave it until they no longer have capacity to deal with their own affairs, both financial and health and welfare.
MiL had started to show signs of dementia, and this summer we bit the bullet and were appointed as attorneys. Part of the process was ensuring she had the capacity to understand her affairs and hand us control voluntarily. Six months down the line we are grateful we did it when we did, as I’m not 100% certain she’d be assessed as positively as she was.Posted 3 years ago
anyone with ageing parents should have a frank discussion about signing you on as Attorneys as soon as you can. There are forms online that help, or a solicitor will charge about £500 for the service.
This is very true, if fact we all could set up a POA just in case. The £500 fee is an absolute rip off if you are able to fill in online forms with people’s names and addresses and get them signed and witnessed – it really is that easy. forms herePosted 3 years ago
As well as a POA I’d advise anyone looking after an elderly relative to have a joint back account with them. This means you can manage their bills etc easily and when the sad day comes you will still have access to the account to pay for funeral expenses.Posted 3 years ago
I’m travelling along this route with my Aged Parents, although they’d seen a number of their friends suffer from dementia and have set up LPOA for both of them for health and financial. My mother it appears has onset symptoms now and although she’s now attending memory clinic and begun some medication is clearly beginning to decline.Posted 3 years ago
I have to go and have the long and painful conversation with them about who, what, where, how much, and why. And Herself has helpfully decided to let me do this on my own.
Get yourself a sympathetic lawyer asap and organise lasting powers of attorney. If you’re too late then the court route is apparently much more long winded and costly.Posted 3 years ago
Btw my parents set up PoAs and I’m starting to act on them (financial only). No harm in helping out with a few things to get them used to the idea gently, e.g. tax returns and house insurance and investments.Posted 3 years ago
I’m retired. I’ve set up a lasting PoA naming my next of kin. It’s probably easier this way, and will save him trouble when I can’t find my marbles.Posted 3 years ago
Nothing to add to help the OP as it is unlikely you will get a POA for your mother if she has been officially diagnosed with dementia.
Wife has a POA in place for her Mum and we have just organised her into care. The technical side of things (rather than the emotional side which is an altogether more complicated thing) is smooth with POA in place.
All the banks/utilities/care/DWP stuff were helpful once the POA was waved about..
we’ve just set up mutual POA’s for the two of us, with kids named as well, based on our experience of this, and the horror stories of friends who didn’t have them set up.Posted 3 years agothecaptain wrote:
Get yourself a sympathetic lawyer asap and organise lasting powers of attorney. If you’re too late then the court route is apparently much more long winded and costly.
Having a sympathetic lawyer isn’t going to help with getting POA if they lack capacity (you can just fill the forms in yourself if you want to do that, having a lawyer doesn’t really add anything). Unfortunately from what the OP is saying they do both lack capacity, so the only way to do it properly is via the courts.Posted 3 years ago
Unless particularly complicated then yes, £500.00 is a rip off for a POA if that is just fees given that the forms have been simplified – the application to register a POA is £110.00
(a solicitor)Posted 3 years ago
Having a dementia diagnosis does not mean they lack capacity! So long as they have lucid times it’s possible to get a poa sorted.Posted 3 years ago
Hi thanks all for the input.
DWP appointee now for both. That status and the reports from Social Services Psych / Capacity assessment will be used to support the Court of Protection Deputyship application … sadly neither of them are in a condition to consent to Power of Attorney.
A bunch of forms to fill in now and a £500* per person application fee by the looks of it.Posted 3 years ago
…from the guidelines it looks like I have to personally ‘Serve’ the notice. Wouldn’t normally be an issue but it’s a 600mile round-trip to see parents who are sadly oblivious (in the case of my mum) and ‘feisty’ / aggressive (my dad’s condition) to our presence. Does anyone know if this is essential or can there be any reasonable conditions that would allow a more sensible approach.
…*fees. Again a dire question but as a father of three young kids ‘post Christmas’ and pre significant school trips; it’ll be about 8-weeks before I’ve got a spare £1000 floating around. Does anyone know of a way to progress with the Court of Protection application without having to [Credit Card] debt the fees?
@thecaptain.Posted 3 years ago
Mum does have apparent lucid conversations but those that know her will recognise that she’s discussing life in the 50s/60s
My mothers lasting poa was 500 quid, 4 separate meetings of say 45 mins each i thought was ok value. I cant see how a solicitor would grant poa without capacity, it could be challenged.
Sorry to hear about this we went through it with my father, a v steep learning curve. Make sure you get the care allowance.Posted 3 years ago
I think you can apply for the Deputyship application fees to be waived.Posted 3 years ago
If social services have said they lack capacity then POA is out. I am in Scotland so am not totally clear on English law but I think the deputeeship is for when there is a reliable relative or friend to take over the affairs, court of protection is for when there is non or the family can’t agree.
If they have any money you should be able to get some off that to pay the fees I would have thought. Also guardianship ( which is what we have instead of court of protection) can take weeks and months.
social worker should be a source of free advice – see if you can meet with them Ultimately it will come down to lawyers tho even if just to sign off the forms. Should be fairly straightforward process – just bureaucratic
pm me if I can help further – this is the field I work inPosted 3 years ago
thecaptain – Member
Having a dementia diagnosis does not mean they lack capacity! So long as they have lucid times it’s possible to get a poa sorted.
Correct.Posted 3 years ago
However once the social worker / Doc / Nurse does the testing and finds they are cognitively impaired then its accepted that there are sericous doubts over their capacity. To get a POA then a lawyer would have to be able to declare they were competent to give the POA. Possible — I’ve known it done but unorthodox to say the least.
grtdkad – Just a thought – is your dad depressed? Depression in the elderly (and he has reason to be depressed) can mimic dementia and / or be misdiagnosedPosted 3 years ago
Sorry to hear that grtdkad. I was just hoping that if they were still a bit borderline, then a sol who perhaps had known them for some time might be convincable that they knew what they were doing. If your dad is now hostile then that’s hardly going to be an option.
Relieved that my parents have sorted this out in time – my dad is diagnosed with mild dementia but still quite capable of making decisions, but everything is in place for if/when things progress past that stage. On the other hand FiL is in complete denial about the whole thing, despite his father going the same way – apparently it was easy peasy to sort out everything back then so there’s no need to consider it further. Perhaps procedures were slacker back then or maybe he is misremembering, which would hardly be a first for him…
having seen a couple of grandparents go down with it a few decades ago I just hope the current generation (and me, for that matter) manage to find something else to die of that can be reasonably rapid and free from suffering.Posted 3 years ago
I sat in on my dads test to check capacity as i had prepared him for it. They used the ace test, get the questions online i just sat down everyday and told him what to say. I dont know how a solicitor tests for capacity, in our case the solicitor just said my mother had capacity.Posted 3 years ago
Sorry to hear this.
We had the same issues for my old man. Alas by the time you’re thinking that you need a POA, it’s very unlikely it will be possible to obtain (as previously mentioned).
Due to the above my mum has just arranged for me to have POA for her, despite the fact she’s still 100%, this still takes a while and the solicitors need to confirm that A: your relative has capacity, and perhaps just as importantly that B: they are not being pressured by anybody to sign away their rights.
So you’re left with an application via court to become a Deputy.
Lots of good advice from citizens advice
and from Alzheimers UK etc.
Hope that helpsPosted 3 years ago
Op with regard to personal service of the application / notices you can have a process server do this in most UK court processes.
What would normally occur is that you send it to the process server who then personally delivers and provides a declaration that is acceptable to the court that it has been personally served in accordance with the relevant court rules.
If you have a lawyer instructed then they should be able to organise. If not then you might need to try a couple of law firms in the service area to see if someone can give you a name.
IANAL but these processes get used for some things we do at work (via a lawyer).Posted 3 years ago
Got a POA for my mum when she was already having issues – the doctor referred her to the dementia service, but was happy she had enough capacity to sign the forms (she actually got very high scores in the basic test he and the dementia service did, but then a lot of it was related to mental agility and as mum was a maths teacher and still does the crossword it was mostly very easy for her). Clearly it depends how big the issues are – in terms of understanding what’s going on, mum did and still does, and is in sheltered accommodation mostly looking after herself still.
Regarding the cost, my understanding is that the “donor” should pay for it, though clearly until you have it in place that could be kind of difficult (I just marched mum to the cash machine 😉 ) If they don’t have sufficient money then you can get the costs waived – IIRC the threshold is quite high so that may be a possibility if they’re not well off.Posted 3 years ago
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