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I'm another 'Newbie'.... - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

I'm another 'Newbie'....

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Hello to all those who responded to my query about setting up P of A for my Mum and many thanks too!

I've sort of combined some of the things that were suggested, read the article in the latests Carers emag,wafted an article around that I saw in a newspaper and we (me, my Mum and my sister) had a short conversation about it yesterday after I rather hesitantly initiated it.
I've been on the Gov.uk website and printed off information too for my Mum to read 'in stages' as she finds it hard to focus on reading too much for too long.

I think my Sister thinks we don't need to do it 'yet' as in her words she 'thinks we'd get some warning of anything was going to happen' - but I don't see it that way. I thought the whole point was to do it BEFORE something happens. She'll probably go home, speak to her husband and come back and say what he says.......

Things are 'strained' between me and my sister because we had a disagreement, I tried to speak to her and sort things out, her husband butted in and made things worse - now she barely speaks to me unless its about Mum.

Anyway, I felt like my Mum was glad in a way that I'd brought it up P of A because she did say she had worried about what would happen - and she is the important one.

Anyway, thanks again for all your replies. I hope you all find this reply - I'm new to this and still not sure how it works.
POA's changed a few years ago. The old style could be written and used immedaiately, but the new ones have to be registered, a process that takes about THREE MONTHS to complete. So your sister may be out of date, thinking of the old style. However, since we don't often get warnings of serious health issues or events, they need to be done when all is well.
I had the old type of PoA and it did have to be registered. It was made in 2006 and I registered it in 2013, with the help of a solicitor, but I can't remember if it took three months. The stamp of the Office of the Public Guardian can be seen in the margins. I was told I could use it in consultation with my brother unless and until he was unable to make his own decisions, which never happened. It was mainly useful (it was only for finance) to get a bank card in my name as PoA and do all the banking online myself.
I had the old style POA for both mum and brother, but could use them without registration, however they both had capacity. In mum's case, she was housebound. In my brother's case, he was an aircraft engineer who just called into his house in the UK to get different clothes if he was going to a different climate.
I think they only had to be registered if they lost capacity?
The 'when something happens' is tricky! I mean 'something could happen' in the space of a few dreadful minutes - eg, a devastating stroke or heart attack. These sorts of things don't happen with a 'three day warning' or whatever!

Alternatively, when it's something like dementia it does sort of 'creep up' (unless it arrives in 'jerks' eg from a stroke, if you see what I mean, eg, those mini-stroke/TIAs that happen, sometimes almost unnoticeably, but just kill off or damage 'a bit more' of the brain each time).

This happened with my MIL, and I really, really didn't 'see' the dementia creeping up. Oh, she was getting a bit 'vaguer' a bit 'older', but I never thought 'dementia' because she'd always been an incredibly capable woman - she was flying up and down from Glasgow to visit me, all on her own, well into her late eighties with no trouble at all - I would drop her at Heathrow, and through she'd go, all on her own, get the shuttle, deplane, and get a taxi back to her flat and so on, then go off shopping! No problem at all....

So realising that she was definitely developing 'dementia' rather than just 'old age' was quite a shock, and it took me a while - maybe several months, after she'd phoned me to say she couldn't face another Scottish winter, so I went into overdrive trying to move her south to a flat near me (so she could replicated her usual independent lifestyle but 400 miles closer!), that I started to twig that that was never going to happen. She'd 'gone beyond' living independently, and needed 'me' to look after her - or someone at any rate.

The 'slide' was both gradual and quite 'definitive' which sounds odd, but if I say that at point A she was deemed capable of visiting, with me, her Scottish lawyer to redraw her will (to take account that her older son had died in the meantime, and so his son should take his place in the will)(with his uncle), and there was no problem, yet something like less than two months later when I took her to my solicitor to 'redo' the will under English law (just in case!), (since she was going to be living in England and selling up her Scottish flat), my solicitor took only two minutes to draw me aside and say 'Stick with the Scottish Will!' - she'd become unable to say the names of her sons, or her middle name.....

So, even something like dementia, which 'creeps up' can 'go over a ledge' in a short space of time between being deemed 'legally capable' and 'legally incapable'.

So that's why, really, I would say, having a PoA 'at the ready' is essential (which I hadn't at all!) (we cope because in her just pre-non-legal capacity period, of redoing her Scottish will in Scotland, we opened a joint bank account for me to be able to see to the sale of her flat, and thank goodness we did - that's what is now paying her care home fees for 'deep ementia').

Anyway, in your circumstances, it sounds like your mum is 'ready' to think ahead to that point, and that is good. As you say, she is the only one that counts. I wonder, reading a little between the lines about your sister and BIL, whether it might be sensible for YOU to have 'sole PoA' since (a) YOU are doing the caring (b) your sister seems to think your mum is no where near needing it, and may well be 'in denial' about her mum declining at all and (c) her husband seems to have a lot of sway over her and may seek to 'over-influence' her perhaps when it comes to her mum....AND dare I ask, her mum's property/assets/money?????????? (apols if I'm being over-suspicious here!!!!!!)
BB, actually that's right - as soon as they *start* losing mental capacity. That was our situation, as my brother was suffering from delirium. He got better later and he always had capacity, so I had forgotten that. It's not relevant to the present case, of course, but I wonder how you could actually 'use' yours if it wasn't registered. Did you have to show it to people? For instance, I am sure the bank needed to see it. But at the same time my brother rewrote his will and he clearly knew what he was doing.
At that time, HSBC wouldn't give me a card on her current account. I now know this refusal was unlawful.
I only used the POA for the HSBC and the Halifax( mum had already given me a MasterCard on her account, so I could pay for anything she needed and it went out of her account monthly).
All that was required was for me to take a copy of the POA into the bank, they photocopied it for their records. As simple as that, but I'm sure it was easier as I was dealing with branches which had handled my affairs, and mum and dads, for over 40 years.
Subsequently, if I needed to write a cheque or make a withdrawal, I used my signature.
It is really important that a POA is given to someone trustworthy, mum was mentally OK but housebound and any writing was almost impossible due to arthritis. She would get me to sign birthday and Christmas cheques to her grandchildren, and I sorted out all the utility bills etc.
In the last couple of year of her life, mum kindly paid for my holidays in Crete, as thanks for all I did for her, but I could not do this if the POA was registered due to mental impairment. Before he died my dad had dealt with all the financial matters of the household, I tried to get mum to do the same (I've always done it for our house) but she was hugely relieved that she could hand it all over to me. Her only concern was usually whether there was enough in the account for her to buy plants or things by mail order.
I had EPOA for my parents. It was never registered because it worked perfectly well in the bank and I seem to remember Mum wrote a letter of authorisation as well. (I wrote, she signed). So the old EPOA worked for us but I did organise a new Health POA which was of some help, although she was asked her preferences for EOL care and was very clear about her wishes.
When Mum's signature on cheques got rather spidery I would sign as well, then signed on my own when she could no longer manage. I used her cash card for any ready money, put all bills on monthly payments and cut up debit and credit cards issued 'just in case'. Anything purchased over the internet I'd get myself and she would pay me back by cash or cheque, and the same for any purchases I made on my credit card.
I would recommend that POA should be set up, signed and ready, when the caree is still seen as capable. It doesn't have to be registered until needed but best to have it prepared.
In the last couple of year of her life, mum kindly paid for my holidays in Crete, as thanks for all I did for her, but I could not do this if the POA was registered due to mental impairment.
I doubt that! Capacity is perhaps beginning to decline, but it doesn't go off like a light switch. Who would challenge the gift? It's an IHT tax problem sometimes. I never did anything with my brother's bank account that he didn't agree to. But I believed the PoA had to be registered.
My brother did a 'Power of Attorney' for my mother about 2 years ago and I am the replacement if anything happens to him. For some reason he only did it for finance not health, I didn't realise this at the time as I only followed his instructions.
But My husband and I (both of us are age 66) decided to do a LPOA both for health and care and finance and my husband is joint and severally with our two sons for me and the same for me, he is joint and severally with our two sons.
We registered them straight away and it only took 8 weeks from Oct 2016 to Dec 2016.
To me it is a weight off my mind - as you never know when you may have a stroke, loss of speech or dementia etc.
We are both in reasonably good health too - at the moment - but who knows what will happen tomorrow.