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Urgent advice please - grandad conned into leaving carer his house

(58 Posts)
Goldrill Sun 24-Mar-13 15:19:37

Any advice appreciated please! My grandad is in his 90s and in hospital being very seriously ill after a fall. My mum and dad have gone in to see him and he has mentioned in passing that he has left his house to one of his carers.

The carer comes in for an hour a few days a week but has been seriously abusing her position for several years. Mum hasn't done anything to date because the lady is kind to grandad and he likes her a lot - so she didn't want to upset him - and he has been fully in control of his faculties so to some extent he knows what he's doing. Example would be: carer's car breaks down and has to be scrapped. Grandad offers to sell her his car - worth around £4.5k - for £600 - to help them out.He must know it's not allowed because he sells it to her husband so carer won't be in trouble. She also works cash in hand for him on top of her normal hours, and gets her husband in to do odd jobs for cash.

Grandad has now realised he shouldn't have left her the house and wants to change his will - to only leave her half of it!

What on earth should my mum do? I think she needs to get his solicitor in there first thing tomorrow to get the will changed - I also presume she can go to the carer's employers; is this a case for the police also? This woman has access to a string of elderly and vulnerable people - god knows how many more she's conning. My mum was keen only to see her good side until the thing with the car, and thought she was just being nice, but the carer knows grandad is leaving her the house, despite being on very good terms with my mum as his only child, and has not said anything to mum or refused it.

Thanks in advance for any advice. My poor mum!

bevelino Mon 08-Apr-13 23:25:09

Property fraud and thefts against the elderly by people they know and trust are surprisingly common. The abuse is very subtle and often takes place over a period of time. Financial abuse of the elderly can be too emotionally charged for family members to resolve and your family may need to consult a solicitor who will have the knowledge and resources to look into the issue in a detached but sensitive manner.

MummytoKatie Sat 06-Apr-13 13:11:43

It's the frog in hot water / abuse thing.

Did she start off " borrowing" small amounts off him, before moving up to the car and then finally the house? It's very hard to know when to say something.

My gran had a "friend" in her late 80s that my parents / uncle were slightly suspicious of. They made the decision not to interfere as he obviously made her happy but they did wonder about his motivations. As it was, they were right not to interfere as he only inherited a sentimental object in the will and was obviously heartbroken at her death. But it is very hard to decide.

And that was a bloke she met at church not someone paid to look after her so completely different.

mercibucket Tue 02-Apr-13 20:54:21

quite unbelievable peoole think this is ok. it is not. op, i dont jnow what you do, but start with her employers and the will. we have seen this first hand with neighbours and it is horrible to watch. the police wouldnt act and the carer ran their own business. v sad sad

Fleecyslippers Tue 02-Apr-13 20:35:57

This is a vulnerable adult/safeguarding issue. If he is now in hospital, raise your concerns to the ward manager - they will be able to advise you on the next steps to take.
It's actually quite scary how many people on this thread believe that this is 'ok'. A person may be of 'sound mind' and still be incredibly vulnerable to abuse.

NomNomDePlum Fri 29-Mar-13 16:30:04

fatnfrumpy - if your fil's cleaner was making next of kin decisions on his behalf, the hospital has majorly fucked up. that is really disturbing.

Kundry Fri 29-Mar-13 16:20:03

If he is in hospital ask to peak to their Adult Safeguarding Lead - they will have one.

This is unacceptable behaviour by the carer. Even if he can make his own decisions, some frail elderly people can feel they are 'friends' with the carer and so need to help them out financially, or not want to upset them or get them in trouble, or the carer has convinced them their family don't care about them. I've met some staggeringly naive and vulnerable older people who didn't have dementia but simply couldn't keep up with a manipulative younger person.

This is taken extremely seriously by social services and please please report it.

fatnfrumpy Tue 26-Mar-13 00:46:12

Gales- I would like to point out my FIL was a much loved father, father in law and Grandad.
We lived 5hrs away from him and visited him monthly.
We asked him many many times to come and live with us, we have a grandad annex!!!
Susan was paid for by my husband not his father.
She also "cleaned" for other old folk in the flats, She was not his "carer" he did not need a "carer"
He gave her his car so that she could do his shopping, I asked her to cook for him when he was about 83 as I thought he wasn't bothereing, we PAID her £12.00 per hour to do this.
She cost my husband £210 per week to clean and cook when we were not there for the weekend.
My BIL took him for a pint about twice a month on the weekends we were not visiting.
He was fine in spirit on the Sunday in hospital until she and the hospital told him on the Tuesday he had to go into a nursing home. She told us he said he would rather die. Nobody discussed the liverpool care pathway with us. We later learnt she had told the hospital she was his daughter even though they knew his two sons came most weekends?
We feel he should have been here with us and his three grandkids in the last 10 yrs of his life.
She told me after he died that he told her she was the daughter he never had and that hurt as I was very close to him!
She may have grown fond of him but we were paying her to make sure he had a clean home and a hot meal. It was a job to her, he and the other 3 or 4 clients she had there.
As far as I am concerned she cross the boundary.

aladdinsane Mon 25-Mar-13 15:09:19

This is a vulnerable adult issue and there are proper procedures to follow
Does he have a care manager from social services?
You need to get someone involved quickly
I am an health care professional and this is not acceptable behaviour because he is in a position where he can easily be manipulated
we have had cases like this and follow the vulnerable adults procedure
In fact - did you say he is in hospital?
If so there will be someone allocated there to support vulnerable adults

ElsieMc Mon 25-Mar-13 15:00:23

I ran a home care business around ten years ago. When I took over, I simply could not believe the conduct of some carers. For example, in addition to their contracted hours, they would also undertake shopping for one hour charging the client around £20 extra. We had a strict no gifts policy and the office was to be contacted immediately should there be any mention of bequests or Power of Attorney.

Although your dad as the client does have a right to deal with his money as he sees fit, her behaviour is improper and is a massive red flag with regard to other vulnerable people she may work with.

I hasten to add that I had many good, kind, decent workers but I grew to be able to spot an abuser (and that is what they are) a mile off.

SirChenjin Mon 25-Mar-13 12:56:23

Yes, I agree Gales - and if relatives who live locally can't be bothered to help out then tough luck to them. There are boundaries, though, and if a family physically can't be there that often because of distance, the carer still needs to be professional and not take advantage in any way - and I'm sure that does happen.

Smudging Mon 25-Mar-13 12:18:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gales Mon 25-Mar-13 12:09:45

SirChenjin, I'd agree if the carer had has a fleeting presence, for a couple of hours a week, in the last few months of an elderly person's life, but in the case of "Susan" she had been someone he relied on heavily and who had gone beyond the call of duty, daily, for 10 years +. She had enabled FIL to stay in his own home and had provided regular company when, for whatever reason, his sons weren't willing or able to do that. FIL didn't leave the money to the carer ahead of his sons, but equally with them and they all received a substantial sum.

The really awful part is that so many elderly people have to pay for company and/or help sad

Moominsarehippos Mon 25-Mar-13 08:12:33

Gales - you don't expect to get anything because you (come across as someone who is) honest, professional and genuinely caring. Not everyone is like this!

Longdistance Mon 25-Mar-13 08:12:28

My db's friend inherited a house. He wasn't an employed carer, more of a friend who kept a close eye on him.

The little old mans family hadn't bothered to see him in the previous 18 months before he died. Even when he was hospitalized, they couldn't care less. But, when he passed away, they tried contesting the will confused he was of sound mind, and made the will well before he was unwell.

Some nasty emails bounced about via one of the nephews, solicitors got involved, and basically told him to back off, unless he wanted to involve solicitors himself.

SirChenjin Mon 25-Mar-13 08:02:31

I appreciate that it's not my money, and that my parents can do whatever they want with it - but I would have a huge problem with a carer benefitting from an inheritance over my DS and I. It would make me wonder what on earth had gone wrong with what is supposed to be a professional working relationship and what control had been exerted over them. We are a close family but live hundreds of miles apart, and rely completely on others not to take any sort of advantage, as per LazyMonkey's post.

Gales Mon 25-Mar-13 07:48:18

Yes, of course he was devastated his father died, but you didn't mention that once in your post.

It wasn't Susan's job to visit him daily in hospital. When you work closely with/for someone for that length of time of course the boundaries between the job and friendship get blurred and I bet she wasn't paid hourly for all the time she spent with him/doing things for him.

Maybe it's me who's odd, but I don't expect to inherit anything. My parents are comfortably off with substantial property assets at the current time. I hope by the time they go, there's nothing left because they've had such a full and active life it's all been spent, but if they spend it on getting help when they need it, or decide to give it to someone who deserves/needs it more than me, or just whatever takes their fancy, that's fine too. It's not my money.

Moominsarehippos Mon 25-Mar-13 07:40:55

"Susan looked after him daily for a decade." It was her job - she was paid to do it.

LazyMonkeyButler Sun 24-Mar-13 23:15:30

I am also a Carer, I work in the community visiting the elderly and disabled at home also.

I can also confirm that it is absolutely forbidden to accept any kind of gift. We do accept the odd box of chocolates at Christmas although we shouldn't even do that strictly speaking. Money is a complete & utter no-no, as would be jewellery, ornaments etc. Entire houses are in another league shock.

To be honest, I cannot believe that the Carer would not know this.

You should contact whoever she works for and Social Services. If the Carer is aware of the bequest she may find herself on the POVA register (Protection Of Vulnerable Adults) and thereby prohibited from care work in future. Is it possible though that your grandad may have changed his will without the Carers' knowledge? She should not have accepted the £4500 car at such a knockdown price.

cumfy Sun 24-Mar-13 23:01:50

What is the date on the current will ?

What actually happened that day ?

fatnfrumpy Sun 24-Mar-13 20:54:19

GALES of course he was devastated his father DIED!

Gales Sun 24-Mar-13 19:51:03

Susan looked after him daily for a decade.

BIL was probably right. Your DH also inherited £250k and was devastated?

fatnfrumpy Sun 24-Mar-13 19:42:02

Exactly the same thing happened with my FIL.
He bought a Mcarthy Stone wardened flat when MIL died He was 72.
After a time he needed help with cleaning.
Susan came an hour a week to clean. Then in his mid 80's she needed HIS car to go and buy food for him.
She by this time was cleaning, shopping and cooking for him. We lived 5 hrs away and he refused to leave his hometown to live with us.
BIL lived 2 miles away from him but so him maybe 1 or 2 times a month. BIL is a jerk btw!
He had a fall and broke his hip. He recovered from the op but had an upset stomach that kept him in hospital for 8 weeks.
He still would not come home to us and Susan visited daily for those 8 weeks. She then rang us on the Wed after we had seen him on the Sunday(normal self, happy, funny etc) He had refused to be transfered into a nursing home and the hospital had put him on the Liverpool pathway.
Although no one had discussed this with us two days previously.
Got to the hospital on Thursday pm and he was in a coma as Susan had agreed to a syringe driver of morphine being administered.
She had told us and his doctors he would rather die than live in a nursing home. We never got the chance to ask him his wishes. The hospital were very reluctant to discuss it with us as the pathway once started cannot be reversed!!!
He died on Monday never regaining consiousness. We sat by his bed bearly sleeping with susan visiting during the day.
The will was read and he had left Susan a third of his estate, the other two thirds to his sons!!!
My DH was devasted but BIL said if it hadnt been for Susan FIL would have been in a home years before. So nothing was done/said.
She inherited 250k

SirChenjin Sun 24-Mar-13 19:24:22

I can understand your mum not wanting to say anything before now, absolutely. If your DG is of sound mind, I suspect there were things that she had to just let go, but leaving the carer and her DH a house is on a completely different level to selling them a car at a reduced cost.

TheChaoGoesMu Sun 24-Mar-13 17:23:57

Contact the safeguarding team at your local SSD. They need to look into this. Grandad will also need a mental capacity assessment, which they will arrange. Do it sooner rather than later.

It does certainly seem very odd that only now that she has realised she will lose her inheritance that your mother has chosen to act. Why wouldn't she have reported the car and the cash-in-hand to the care agency ages ago? It is pretty obvious this carer was taking advantage.

However, I do understand to some extent the not wanting to upset. We care for an elderly relative who has a friend who is lovely to her (no financial gain) but hates dh and I and has basically slandered us to her neighbours saying we are stealing her money (for the record, we aren't and aren't beneficiaries of her will). We have ignored these accusations because she is kind to our relative, in any other circumstances I would have had her contacted by our solicitor.

Anyway you have had lots of good advice, I hope your mother can sort this situation out as soon as possible.

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