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When should you start thinking about POA? - Carers UK Forum

When should you start thinking about POA?

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hallelujah!
Mum's AA came through today, and at the higher rate.

I tried several times to explain to her about it but it hasn't sunk in. And, to be honest, when I asked her to sign the forms a few weeks ago, she didn't have much of an idea what she was signing Image

That's been brought back to me this week - on Monday, our front room window got broken... this is a very quiet area, one of the most respectable in our town, but we heard two loud bangs while we were watching Eastenders, and the outer panel of DG was shattered and crazed over like a windscreen. Police came out and we got a ref number, so I got on to Mum's insurance company and today a man came out today to survey before a quote. I tried so hard to simply and carefully explain it all but she can't take it in... She keeps asking me about it and saying she can't afford it, and I have done my most patient best to explain about insurance excess (£100) - it's just not registering Image

And now the AA has come through today - similar issues - no matter how simply and slowly I go, it's just not sinking in. She goes to a care home for a few hours twice a week to give me respite, and the bills have been coming in for that, which she CAN afford, but I found something scribbled on a piece of paper last week, asked her about it, and she said it was her former employers (back in the 80's) - she was going to write to them to see if they could help her pay for the care home because she thinks she can't afford it Image

Is it time, do you think? What would you do?
Bear in mind I can try to explain it in the best way today, but tomorrow I will have to do it again, and the day after again, and so on, and it just doesn't seem to be registering.

It's beyond sad, isn't it? But I worry if I might leave it too late.
Hello Nenuphar Image

Yes, it's definitely time ! But it would have been easier and better to have done it before Mum had got to this stage. Ideally it needs to be arranged before someone has lost 'mental capacity'. I would suggest that you read through the Gov.UK website section on powers of attorney (https://www.gov.uk/browse/births-deaths ... r-attorney) or seek advice from a solicitor.

When we sorted out Mum's PoA she still had mental capacity to understand what was being done and it was relatively easy, but when someone has lost that understanding then it becomes more complicated as you have to apply on their behalf.

EVERYONE should make a PoA as a matter of course, in the same way that they make their Will. Both of mine are already done.
My friend always tells me that nothing happens by coincidence and my is she correct with this thread, OH and I have been going around in circles trying to work out what is involved with this POA stuff and after printing 88 pages of guidelines as Susie's link suggest we now have some very informative light reading to do this evening - thanks very much for your original thread Nenuphar and thanks for the link Susie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Susie's right - better to set up a POA before it's needed. If you leave it too late, you won't be able to get it, and that then requires a different approach - and more expensive, of course.

If your mum has reached the point where the solicitor believes she lacks capacity, you may have to go down the Deputyship route. There's more information about that on the same site Susie gave the link to.
I wrote my first will at the age of 21, my husband and I wrote POA's for each other many years ago, and as soon as my husband died, I wrote a POA in favour of my son. Now I'm nagging him to do one as well, at the age of 35. I have POA for my mum, and for my brother, who has a house near me, but mends airplanes all over the world, hasn't been back in the UK for 2 years. I would urge every carer to ensure their caree has one, and they have one themselves. For benefits, there is another thing which you can do, Nenuphar. You can become mum's DWP "appointee". If you get in touch with them, they'll send you a simple form, as daughter it should go through smoothly. Then all benefits for mum are addressed to you, you are responsible for claiming whatever is due (don't forget that now mum has AA she might be entitled to extra help with pensions, housing benefits, etc. and you can claim Carer's Allowance) and you are also responsible for ensuring that the money is spent properly on mum (i.e. not Caribbean holidays for you instead!). My mum is elderly and frail, she prefers me to handle all the money now, it worries her, because dad always dealt with it when he was alive.
If your mum is going to a care home, and paying herself, this might not be neccessary. It might be possible for the local authority to pay, so ask them to do a financial assessment if mum has under about £22,000. Of course, everyone's situation is different, and local authorities have different rules, so what happened to my mum might be slightly different from yours, but the broad principles will be similar.
a few years ago, my mum transferred all her money into a separate account in mine and my husbands name. i get her pension out from the post office each week, give it to my mum and anything she does not need she gives back to me to put into that account. i pay all her bills from that account. also anything she needs, i.e. clothes i buy from that same account, i keep all the receipts.
am i doing wrong. i think she is passed the stage of understanding and signing a POA.

it would be good to hear your views.
Better to get PoA done well before it's 'needed'. My friends did their's in favour of their daughter as they were travelling/in-and-out of the country for a few years. They forgot to suggest it for her mum though and she's now in a home with dementia and they are having to go through the Court of Protection to get access to money to support her needs.
Pamr,
To be "squeaky clean" I would suggest that you formalise the situation by becoming mum's DWP appointee. As I said in my previous post it's an easy process. Then all mum's pension money etc. can go straight into the separate account you already have up and running - where an appointee is involved, all benefits have to be paid into an account in the name of the appointee, so that you have control. If mum gave you and your husband all her money years ago, that would be regarded as a generous gift, mum no longer has any control over it and she has no legal right to it. If mum ever needed to have a LA financial assessment, they would only look at the account you set up for her money. I'm not a lawyer, so this is just the system the way I understand and use it.
yes i am her dwp appointee, but she has her pension paid through the post office, in the days when you could choose to have a card to collect payments. they gave me my own card, own pin number so it was all sanctioned by them.
all was quite above board and if she ever needs a financial assessment of course i would state that its her money. completely separate from my money.
however, there is just that nagging doubt in my head, if i should have taken out a POA. but, she is past the state where she would understand what she is doing now. just wish i knew about power of attorney at the time.
To grant a POA you have to be able to understand what you are doing. I have heard that if someone with limited understanding clearly trusts mum/dad/son/daughter then they can still grant POA to them, even if they don't fully understand everything, however it seems a really grey area. I need to think about this more in respect of my son with SLD, at the moment I'm just his DWP appointee but the care providers are being very difficult, I think if I had POA it would give me a bit more influence. Perhaps someone reading this will know more?