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I'm another 'Newbie'.... - Carers UK Forum

I'm another 'Newbie'....

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
and I've been caring for my Mum for about 2 and a half years, she's 88 and has various health issues.
I Just thought I'd introduce myself and ask if anyone else 'out there' has ideas on how to start a conversation with my Mum and my elder Sister (who I'm struggling to get on with at the moment) regarding setting up Power of Attorney - fortunately Mum is very 'with it' at the moment, but I know these things need to be done before problems arise.
Any ideas gratefully received.
Thanks.
Pauline
Tricky!

It's always a 'caution-inducing' decision to grant another human being the free run of our money! I'd be 'cautious' about granting PoA to my own son (though he is Captain Sensible!), simply because I don't want to 'lose control'. BUT of course, the catch 22 is that if I get dementia, or am lying unconscious in hospital or whatever then I DO want him to have control.....

So I can understand your mum's reluctance - plus, we don't want to think about 'needing' PoA, just as we don't want to think about making wills because it reminds us we'll die one fine day!!!

Yet the problems that can arise from NOT having a PoA are far worse!

In practical terms for yourself, what would you think the best? To share with your sister, or for just one of you to have PoA?

Personally, I would urge STRONGLY that if YOU are the one doing the care then YOU are the ONLY one with PoA. None of your sister's business thank you very much if SHE is doing sod-all care!!!!

But of course neither your sister, nor your mum, may see it that way.

The ultimate nightmare scenario is for YOU to do all the care and your SISTER to have all the financial power. That's happened to someone on this forum, and combined with an ungrateful, complaining mother, and siblings who treat the the carer-sibling like dirt, and you have a really, really horrible situation!

What problems are you having with your sister? Is it 'just' about your mum, or does it get more complicated?
A Power of Attorney can be set up at any time (whilst the 'donor' still has mental capacity) but until it is 'registered' it can't be used. My Mum's was set up when we first suspected she might be going down the dementia route and whilst she still had the the requisite mental capacity. It wasn't registered until a couple years later when her capacity had declined.

PoA can be granted to any number of attorneys 'singly' or 'jointly' whereby one attorney can act on their own or where all have to be in agreement - but at the end of the day all that matters is that is used 'in the best interests' of the donor.

If setting up a financial PoA it is also advisable to set up a 'health & welfare' one at the same time. In reality it is only your Mum who can make the decision as to if she wants to set it up and who she wants as attorney(s).
How about getting the booklet from Age uk and have it arrive on the door mat like a circular, it might help bring up the conversation.
How about getting the booklet from Age uk and have it arrive on the door mat like a circular, it might help bring up the conversation.
Sounds like I know what I'm talking about doesn't it?- still don't have it for Dad :roll:
Hi Pauline
Solicitors on this subject will give you half an hour's free advice. I had it, although sadly it was too late for my husband. His capacity declined rapidly. Had to go down the court of protection route.
I'm an advocate of that being avoided. Much more expensive, intrusive and emotional. It's going to cost £350 per year (on top of the vast amount already been paid) for the court to check I'm not abusing my husband's pension!!!
So please don't put it off. As Susieq explains, you don't have to register until needed.
Susie, who has the power to register (activate?) a PoA? As in, is it only the 'donor' who can do so ('OK, I give in - you can handle my money now! So press the button!')? Or, does it require, say, a confirmed diagnosis of dementia (mental incapacity) to allow the 'recipient' to 'activate' it?

As for health and welfare, so long as that gives the POWER to make decisions but not the RESPONSIBILITY to look after the 'donor' then fine. Be VERY careful you don't end up with an actual DUTY of care....as there may come a time when you just want to run for the hills!!!

If PoA is granted to two people - eg, siblings - then what if they disagree with each other as to what to spend, and on what? How is that resolved?

I believe (having read it on this forum I think!) that a PoA can be revoked at any time (assuming no mental impairment).
My husband and I wrote our first wills when we were 20 and 24, before we went to Australia. We owned a house, and therefore needed to make our wishes clear in case something happened to us. We made our POA's when we were about 50, when we updated our wills, in favour of each other. When my husband died, I rewrote my will and wrote a POA in favour of my eldest son. He has been with me throughout all the caring I have done, he's supported me when I've been near death, and he already knows how I want to be treated at the end of my life, so I won't be in any pain.
A POA takes 3 months to process, a lot can happen in 3 months. One thing is for certain, you won't be given four months notice of imminent car accidents, stroke, heart attack etc.
I think everyone who owns anything should write a will, so that those left to clear up afterwards know what you want them to do. Everyone should have a POA. I'd far rather someone who loved me made important decisions about whether I should live or die than a faceless doctor who doesn't know me at all.
So why not start doing yours and tell the older generation it's time they did one too?
Susie, who has the power to register (activate?) a PoA? As in, is it only the 'donor' who can do so ('OK, I give in - you can handle my money now! So press the button!')? Or, does it require, say, a confirmed diagnosis of dementia (mental incapacity) to allow the 'recipient' to 'activate' it?
Obviously the 'donor' can activate their PoA at any time. The 'attorney' can activate it once a clear confirmed diagnosis of mental incapacity (i.e. dementia, coma etc) has been given. I activated my Mum's after consultation with her GP and her Solicitor.
If PoA is granted to two people - eg, siblings - then what if they disagree with each other as to what to spend, and on what? How is that resolved?
depends on how they were appointed. If 'singly' then any of the named attorneys can make a decision; if 'jointly' then they have to be in agreement. My Mum's PoA stated "jointly or singly" meaning either or both.
I believe (having read it on this forum I think!) that a PoA can be revoked at any time (assuming no mental impairment).
Yes, I believe that is correct.

It is worthwhile reading the .GOV information on Power of Attorney here
https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney/overview
Thank you so much!

I wonder what happens if two siblings REALLY disagree! Maybe then something like the Office of the Public Guardian has to intervene?!

Very difficult for everything to be 'foolproof'.