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Power of attorney - Carers UK Forum

Power of attorney

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hi I wonder if any of you know the answer to this? I can't find it on google. My husband has bipolar disorder currently well but on meds. When he was 18 he made his mother power of attorney as a wife what does that mean for me when it comes to his finances and the house??
IT is possible to revoke a PoA if it doesn't fit current circumstances. As it stands, it sounds as those his mother would be dealing with your husband's finances if he lacked the capability to do so. I suggest you talk to a solicitor. The first appointment is usually free.
Hi Mez

At the moment, if your husband became deemed as unable to make his own decisions, his mother would be the only one able to control his affairs, or was it an enduring power of attorney? If so it may not have been registered, so you could make a new Lasting Power of Attorney.
Go to the .gov site above and read all about it. There are explanations on this site too. Click on the red help and advice button at the top of the page.
Hi everyone my hubby doesn't seem keen to change power of attorney so what do I do now?
Can you maybe get a joint PoA with his mum? That way you would, I presume, get equal dibs with her in making decisions about him, should the need arise? But I don't know what would happen if you and his mum disagreed over actions taken on his behalf?

I was just thinking that your husband might find it psychologically easier to add 'someone else' (ie, you) rather than maybe feel he is 'rejecting' his mum by 'replacing' her with you, etc tec.

How well - or not! - do you get on with his mum, especially in respect of your husband's mental state/condition etc etc. Can you envisage her taking PoA decisions with which you profoundly disagree?

It's a tricky topic, that's for sure.
Hi Mez
A POA only lasts as long as a person is alive, so if your husband died (heaven forbid) MIL would have no powers whatsoever.
You really need to know whether it is an Enduring POA or a Lasting POA. An Enduring POA does NOT give the attorney, your MIL, any sway over health issues. So there's nothing stopping him taking out a Lasting POA for health and naming you as his attorney. That way you would have full control over his health issues.
In the meantime, MIL has control over his finances, should he be deemed as incapable. However an attorney must always act in the person's best interests. Plus, I don't think she could sell your house from under you, especially if it is in joint names.
An Enduring POA was replaced by two different POAs called Lasting POAs. One for health and one for finance. The old Enduring POA is still valid for finance, but not for health. BUT it has to be registered to be legal and it was supposed to be registered when the person became incapable.
Which one is it?
Hi Jenny and Elaine thanks for your responses firstly to answer Jenny's questions I did use to get on with mother in law however when hubby was ill the last time we had very different views on his treatment, I really feel a loss of security knowing she has control over half my house and my husbands finance and business a business I have invested money into. I am 40 years old and have always made my own financial decisions and am not doing too badly I'm sad to say I do not trust mother in law when it comes to money, for reasons I do not want to go into but lets say she is controlling and normally gets what she wants. I don't see that we would agree on joint decisions although I would settle for that if that all hubby is willing to give me.

Hi Elaine its lasting power of attorney.
Hmm, I can understand your anxiety.

I would say you might need at this point to consult a solicitor on your own, to discuss what your options are. It has, however, always to be borne in mind that when we marry, we 'commit' our financial future, to an extent, t our spouse, in that they then become legally involved in our finances! (I personally hugely disapprove of marriage changing our legal and financial status, and strongly believe that 'pre-nups' or equivalent are essential to every marriage - property and money are 'business affairs' and should be treated as such, as if we were going into a formal 'business partnership' with our spouses!)

So, for example, if your husband decides to divorce you, he might be legally entitled to a 50% share of a house into which you have put more money than he has...(etc etc).

However, presumably the immediate issue is whether (a) your husband is deemed still to have legal capacity even with his level of MH and (b) what would happen to his finances if that changes (ie, he becomes 'incapable' due to a worsening MH).

And, as I said above, to discover what would happen in the event of (b) were your husband to include you in his existing PoA granted to his mother (ie, what if you and your MIL disagree when you share PoA together).

But I definitely would suggest that, irrespective of what you find out here, either from other members, or the Carers UK helpline, that you get that verified (or refuted!) by a solicitor acting on your behalf, to clarify to you your options, and what the law would decide, were your husband to be deemed without legal capacity.

It's a grim thing to say, but one possible option for you might be to say you will divorce him now (ie, to retain your fair share of your joint assets), unless you get full PoA (to protect your and his finances)(maybe the health aspects of PoA could still be shared with his mum, though it sounds like you have different views on medicine anyway, from what you say of your FIL) (That said, as a mum myself, I would hate to think of a DIL doing something to my 'incapable' son that I profoundly disagreed and disapproved of - my maternal instincts would be very worried!!!!)

But it's definitely a tricky situation! Does your husband tell you why he doesn't want to remove PoA from his mum? Does he have a 'good' reason?
Hi Jenny he just did not see it as an issue and believes if anything happens she will act in his best interests
Does he realise the implications for you as his wife and that you MIL will be able to make decisions about him without you even being consulted? Perhaps it's time to have a frank discussion about your expectations of marriage...