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Just want someone to talk to!!! - Carers UK Forum

Just want someone to talk to!!!

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Five months ago my Dad passed away leaving me to look after my Mum (Whom I dearly love), since her stroke in 2010 she struggles with small things and hates being left alone. I duly quit my job and am now a full time carer.

Since then our solicitor has had a Dr look at Mum and declared her mentally unfit due to her inability to communicate. Other than the communication Mum is fine, she knows exactly what she wants and is perfectly capable of yes or no answers... Just don't ask her to read War and Peace...

Now people are appearing like my Sister, saying she has been signed mentally incapable and can't make decisions of her own, and of course you know what they want. She now says she wants to act as joint executor with me and hopes that her mortgage will be paid of, it makes me want to cry. She has visited Mum three times in the past four months and on both occasions couldn't wait to get out. I live with Mum every day 24/7, claim carers allowance and every Tuesday Mum gives me £20 without me even asking. Who says she can't think for herself.

I just want Mum to get her inheritance and carry on living with the same quality of life we do at the moment. I get carers allowance and my £20 pocket money... But others are after £40,000 without even helping with Mum's care..
Hi Stephen
Just wanted to show some solidarity. Dad is in a similar position although more able to express himself. You will find that if you go for POA all parties are expected to act in the person's best interest rather than paying off their own mortgage. Perhaps going for joint POA together with a solicitor named as 3rd POA might be an option for you to think about to ensure fair play. I appreciate where you are coming from being the live in carer on CA with other family waiting in the wings. It is hard to swallow some times . I suggest if you do go down the joint POA route then you make sure you are remunerated for your care. This may mean taking the £20 from your mother's account but it will at least mean that there will be a more even distribution which is what your mother would be wanting so no need for the guilt trip.
Hello, and welcome to the forum. Here, we call "drop in" relatives "Helicopters"! I'll now ask you a few questions to just clarify the situation. You don't have to say if you don't want to, but it would help.
From what you say, presumably your father has left mum a total of £40,000?
Was this in a joint account with mum, or in his sole name?
Where is the money at the moment?
Did he leave a will? In cash or shares?
Where does mum live, in her own home, a rented home, or with you?

If dad left a will, then he should have named his executors. (An executor is someone who helps distribute the estate of a deceased person - your sister can't say she wants to be one!!!) However, they have a legal duty to act in the best interest of the beneficiary - mum. Whatever he mental state it is hers to do with it what she wants. If she can't manage to deal with it herself, then she can get someone else to help her.
I suggest you read a bit more about a "Mental Capacity Assessment" (MCA).
Social Services have a duty to protect "vulnerable adults".
If mum can make decisions for herself, then she can give someone a "Third Party Mandate". A fancy way of saying that she can tell the bank that it's OK for you to deal with her money on her behalf, this is quick and easy to do.
Alternatively, mum might have signed a Power of Attorney at some time in the past - check with the solicitor.
Mum will need to have a DWP "appointee" to deal with her pension etc. if she can't manage it for herself, again, a quick and easy thing to do.

I was very alarmed to hear mum is giving you just £20 per week. If mum was being cared for in a home it would cost between £500 and £1200 a week!!
First things first, ask Social Services to do a Needs Assessment for mum, and a Carers Assessment for you. Talk to them about your money grabbing sister.
If you are caring for mum, then it is you, not sister, who should be paid the going rate for caring. At least equal to the minimum wage.
I would also suggest that you keep a diary, what you do for mum on a daily basis, and most importantly, when sister actually visits.
Thank you to everyone for the kind replies.
I have to say the use of the word "helicopters" made me smile, it is so appropriate...
My Dad died without a will, and his inheritance is worth around £150,000...which now goes to Mum under the laws of Intestacy...Our solicitor insisted on paying for a Dr to see Mum (£250), when he appeared he said that Mum didn't have the communication skills to make a will or grant POA, let alone act as an executor.

Mum and Dad always kept things separate, they both had POA over each other, no joint bank accounts or anything.
The money is in Dads account, Isa's and yes there are some stocks and shares, which is why I hired a solicitor.

Mum lives with me in the family bungalow, we owned 25% each... The only bad thing is we agreed that my sister could mortgage her 25% a few years back.. So that is what she wants paid off...? She forgets that we all had to agree to go in debt for her, and now she is claiming it is family debt...and should be paid of by the estate.
My parents lent my brother a considerable sum, supposedly for a short period, but 20 years later it was still owing. Mum changed her will so that his share was less the amount they loaned him, PLUS compound interest, PLUS any amount outstanding. In effect his family inherited nothing (he died before mum).
So if sister mortgaged her 25%, what sort of mortgage is it? Interest only, or repayment? How much will it take to clear the debt? £40,000?
I'm not sure that the doctor fully understood the Mental Capacity Act fully, or the solicitor. There must be an assumption of capacity unless proved otherwise. (Several members of my family have had assessments). Can I suggest you read a bit more about this subject, and maybe ring the Carers UK helpline for advice.
IF mum gives her permission for your sister's share to be £40,000 written off, then that's fine, as long as you also have £40,000. When she had her money was her name taken off the deeds? This is really important to check. As long as her name WAS removed, then it could be to your advantage later, because the house will probably be worth more than £160,000 now?
If mum is assessed by a proper Mental Capacity Assessor as lacking capacity, then you may have to go to the Court of Protection to deal with dad's estate. Others here have had to go down this road, and there are VERY strict rules about what you can and cannot spend money on. I don't think the daughter's mortgage is one of them!!!
Lots of great advice, but it is still going to be tricky, and possibly expensive, to get a fair deal. Ultimately, we all need to take heed of it and apply it in our own lives, but how many of us do? How many of us have a valid up-to-date will? How many have a POA set up in case we become infirm? Or do we all tend to put it off, on the basis that we are fine for now?
One of these days I will get around to setting up a proper trust for my son, to protect his share of the inheritance from the predation of the Social Work department and DWP in the event of my and my wife's death. But it is so easy to put these things off, we all procrastinate dreadfully, don't we?
The law is such a blunt and crude and expensive instrument to solve these family matters. :sick:
Care if you want, care if you must, but care at your peril.
I made my first will when I was 20, just before my husband and I went to work in Australia. Updated several times since. POA for years too, initially given to my husband, on his death, rewritten for eldest son. Solicitor currently advising re inheritance tax avoidance. Our little cottage in the New Forest has rocketed in value! I've had several close shaves with death. I want to know that when I go, everything is in order and they will be able to settle things with the minimum of fuss. It took us a year to empty out my mum's house because she had so much "stuff"! I want my sons remember the mad crazy mum I can be, my cooking, my cheesecakes, and all my love for them. I've told them all my sewing stuff can go to the local secondary school (even in our affluent town, there are girls whose parents cannot afford materials for sewing classes). We were all stunned when my husband died suddenly, but we have many happy memories of the things we did. His stuff remains in a shed for my "boys" to enjoy. I always said it was theirs to enjoy, mine if I needed the money. Fortunately, four year old grandson loves steam engines, tractors, etc!
Can I ask about mental capacity? Our solicitor wanted us to go to our GP, who talked to Mum and happily wrote a letter stating that in her opinion Mum had full mental capacity.
The solicitor said this wasn't sufficient and asked for permission to write to our GP, duly given.
Solicitor came back and said our GP wasn't willing to give enough detail.
"You will have to pay £250 for my GP who specialises in this she said" I agreed.
After six weeks I got a phone call on a bank holiday who asked if he could come in an hour as he didn't want to disrupt his day job. I agreed to an 11:30 meeting at our house, to which he said he had to stop and get some hanging baskets so might be late.
He turned up and had to return to his car as he'd forgot his paperwork, I made the point of getting up and walking past him to offer him a drink. His paperwork was a blank piece of paper which he scribbled on.
He left apologetically saying my Mum was unable to write a will, give POA or look after Dads estate.
Why do I feel like I've been scammed?
This all seems very odd to me.
All I know is when I wanted POA for my husband, a reputable solicitor came to my home, had no objection to my sister being with me, and we talked through the situation. He said he would give it one try IF I wanted that. He didn't charge for the one hour consultation.My husbands consultant, manager at the nursing home and nursing staff all agreed he no longer had the capacity to understand what was asked. I agreed, and understood the situation. It wasnt one person who decided all of this. My husband's doctor then filled out an assessment form, describing my husband's situation. He charged £95 for this. Not at any time was it just one person saying what they felt. We all agreed. ( Except for my sister, who was with me to support, and remind me of any part of the conversation that I felt unsure of.) I was given booklets and telephone numbers with the invite to contact at any time if I was unsure of details.
Were you present at the examination? Who was this doctor? Qualifications? It certainly doesn't sound right to me.