[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 585: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 641: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
Power of Attorney - Carers UK Forum

Power of Attorney

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
All the advice I get it to get Dad to set up POA. Easier said than done and how on earth do you start the conversation, hence I have put it off until now. Last week I took the opportunity of saying I couldn't do something he asked me to do because I didn't have POA, to which he replied he thought he had already given it to me! Just shows how muddled he has become.
I seized the opportunity and have made an appointment for a solicitor to visit him but hope that he doesn't throw a tantrum and say that he doesn't want anyone interefering etc etc. Talk about walking on egg shells. I hope I have booked a decent solicitor who can see how the land lies and guides him in the right direction. Problem is that it is dad who must think he has set it up in the first place and not me. I suppose sols are used to this sort of situation.
Hi - I think the key question here may be not whether he wants to grant you PoA or not, but just how 'muddled' he has become.

The solicitor will want to establish he is still compos mentis enough to make the informed decision to grant you PoA - I'm pretty sure that if the solicitor is doubtful about his mental capacity he won't be able to process anything, even if your father wants to do so. In my (very limited!) experience the solicitor will deliberately ask your father open ended questions that can't be answered 'yes' or 'no' too, and which you won't be allowed to steer eg, by prompting 'isn't it, Dad?' etc.

He'll be asked open questions such as 'how many children do you have' and 'what are their names' etc, hopefully within the context of the general topic of PoA, so perhaps your dad won't 'twig' that he's being mentally assessed by the questions!

If the solicitor has doubts, he will have to refer the matter to your dad's GP and possibly have a mental capacity test. And if your dad fails that test, then he can't grant PoA to you. Indeed, you may then be legally required (???) to go to the Court of Protection (I think that's it!) to entitle you to 'take over' your dad's finances. BUT, the downside of that, I suspect, is that then YOU become 'legally responsible' for your father's finances AND his general well being (ie, as if he were your child) ! That responsibility may not be something you actually want.

For myself, it's not aquestion I want asked at all right now of my MIL - I don't want the issue 'put to the test' before it absolutely HAS to be done! Instead, what we've done is to open a joint bank account (her and me) so I can sign cheques for her spending her money. It's not ideal by any means as half the fund then legally 'belongs' to me (and if I peg out before she does - and some days I truly think that wll happen, and she will see us all out! - that may impact inheritance tax etc etc.)

Others may know more, but there may possibly be a half way house whereby the money stays in your father's account, but he gives the bank permission for you to withdraw it for his own needs, or sign cheques (but not formal PoA).

To my mind, the whole issue is a minefield! There's the problem of the implications of being judged not to have mental capacity any more, plus the problem of the caree knowing that (which may be a bit traumatic for them!), plus the problem of them not knowing that they have reached the stage whereby they should grant PoA, or, indeed, not knowing they have reached the stage of not having legal capacity at all!!!! (Hard to tell someone they are mentally 'gone'......)

Hope others here may clarify, and perhaps give you a more optimistic reply.
Hi henrietta,

Fortunately that was not my experience. The solicitor was very understanding and just asked questions of mum such as do you understand? In reality, she was pretty muddled. She just had to sign the forms in numerous places.

Incidentally, there are separate Powers of Attorney for health and welfare and one for finance. I just have the financial one.

Good luck with dad, Anne x
Hi Jenny and Anne
Thank you so much for taking the trouble to reply. I have read up briefly about it in a leaflet from Age UK as I hadn't twigged before that EPOA is an out of date term and now replaced as you say by 2 versions of LPOA- health and finance.
I already have the third party bank access but there is more that I don't have access to so POA would be useful. Dad ha s also had several spells when he has been away with the fairies- major stroke, long term sedation post major op, sort of spaced out after falling down stairs. Each time I think I wish had done something before it happened.
As for how with it he is -very difficult to guage and variable. Hope I get Sol more like yours Anne and that he signs when prompted.
I remember him throwing some car insurance papers over his shoulder in a huff a few years ago like a toddler throwing a tantrum because he didn't like what he was being told. I hope I'm not in for a repeat performance.
I think he could answer basic questions like how many children he has but if they ask him if black is black, he's just as likely to say it's white and think you are argueing with him.
Hi Henrietta
I'm glad that you have got third party signatory on your dads finances, it does help. When my mum started with dementia she would not hear of anyone having control of her finances and got quite stroppy when PoA or third party bank signatory was mentioned. Unfortunately, she was not paying any of her bills and hiding all the letters. I managed to persuade her to get third party signatory just before she lost capacity, but I can't insure her home without PoA and I can't sell her home to cover the care home fees as she now needs residential care.

I hope you get a helpful solicitor, but do be aware that if the solicitor decides that your dad does not have capacity then you will still have to pay his fees and not have anything to show for it. I am going for Court of Protection for my mum. It does pretty much the same as PoA, but she does not have to give consent and her GP (or social worker) has to sign to confirm that she has lost capacity. Court of protection also takes much longer and there is a lot of paper work involved. You can either get the solicitor to represent you which is expensive, or you can do it yourself. I went halfway and saw a solicitor for advice and he explained what to do and he filled in most of the form for me. I am now waiting for a date for the court hearing, though I probably won't have to actually attend.

Good luck with whichever route you have to take.

Edit to say that CoP also has separate types, one for finances and another for health and welfare too. I have applied for the finance only.
I must say, it's good news to me that one can get financial powers but not get 'landed' with the actual responsibility for the well being of the caree as well (unless one wants to, of course).

Sounds like solicitors' attitudes can vary (which is slightly unnerving!) in terms of just how 'rigorous' they are in assessing capacity themselves. As I say, in my own limited experience, the solicitor (we were seeing her about wills) told me she would ask open ended questions (when I saw her privately first), which she then proceeded to do of my MIL 'as if' they were just part of her general enquiries about the situation of a new client. But I could see that that was what she was doing - don't think MIL had a clue, though.

I know that when the will was actually witnessed, she (ie, solicitor) told me it didn't matter a jot whether the person signing did or didn't have mental capacity, all the solicitor was doing in witnessing the will was witnessing that it was the caree who was signing it, ie, she was simply asserting the identity of the signatory to the will, not whether that signatory knew what it was she was signing or anything like that!

Henrietta, not sure if 'throwing a tantrum' counts as mental incapacity or not! Sometimes I feel like throwing tantrums myself!!! :)
Well as the saying goes, "You can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink"- that was a waste of time.
Oh dear, sounds like he wasn't keen....

I think, though, now, that you simply have to keep making him aware of the consequences of his decision not to grant you PoA - you mentioned earlier you've told him there are things you can't do because you don't have PoA, and that is what must continue. It's drip feed and constant pointing out.

I do think it's important that YOU do not do anything 'extra' for him at all that results from your not having PoA - if he won't grant it to you, then he must take the FULL burden of that decision of his. Don't make it possible for him to go on not granting it to you.

Tough love, but he sounds, from what you say of him, like a 'tough old bird' (!) and being equally tough in return is the only way to make the situation work that doesn't end up with you being tied up in knots by him!!!

As other posts have said, if he gets to the point of muddledness where he loses mental capacity, then you will have to go down the Court of Protection etc route anyway.
Now this a topic I recently have experience of... we live in Scotland which is slightly different, my hubby(only 58) has memory problems/mini strokes and I have always done the household stuff but his health/ welfare had to be covered,
I read all the factsheets on the Public Guardian site and downloaded the forms, easy enough to fill in, then made an appointment with hubby's GP for him to witness signature and assess capability, which he was happy to do, it did cost a fee of £20. We did not use a solicitor, on sending forms for registration a very nice lady from the PG office phoned and said I needed to add in a couple of welfare paragraghs and she emailed them for hubby to intial, from start to finish it took about a month, registering POA at Public Guardian office costs £70 and worth ever pound for that piece of mind. Would recommend carers talking to their caree where appropriate, as we had terrible problems when my mother in law fell ill and had dementia, no POA registered even though the forms were signed and witnessed and left in a drawer, just waiting for gp to sign the health professional part, which he would NOT do as mum was now in hospital and didn't know what was going on.
So be warned get LPOA done early, even if you don't have to use it. Hope this is of help to someone
The scottish system is so easy, and the staff so friendly and helpful. Could not fault the service we received from them either.xx