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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!

HeySoulSister Sun 24-Mar-13 15:34:52

Wait a minute.... How do you know she has 'conned' him about anything?

Rainbowinthesky Sun 24-Mar-13 15:41:19

I agree with Soulsister. It sounds like he wants to leave her at least half of the house and you say he is of sound mind.

JaquelineHyde Sun 24-Mar-13 15:44:44

Your Grandad sounds in complete control of the situation and has decided that instead of leaving his carer (and his friend and companion no doubt) the whole house he would like to leave her a share of the house.

He does not sound like a man who has lost his mind and has made decisions throughout his frienship with this woman that shows that he knows exactky what is going on.

If your Mum or anyone tries to challenge this now it could cause huge amounts of bad feeling and ruin any time that your Grandad has left.

You have no proof this woman has conned anyone and I would tread very carefully before making and accusations.

Goldrill Sun 24-Mar-13 15:46:10

Would have no problem if she were genuine, but her actions regaeding money in the past suggest otherwise. Had anyone found out about the car, for example, she would have lost her job. There are plenty of other examples; so assuming I am right, does anyone have any advice, please?

Rainbowinthesky Sun 24-Mar-13 15:48:17

Perhaps I am a bit cynical but you say your mum knows he has been abused for several years but has only decided to do something about it now her inheritance is being affected hmm

Rainbowinthesky Sun 24-Mar-13 15:49:16

My mother has no money but had I thought she were being abused I would do something about it immediately.

Goldrill Sun 24-Mar-13 15:50:25

yes rainbow - i can see it looks like that, but she genuinely did not want to upset him and she was trying to keep an eye on things without rocking the boat. i tried to persuade her to report the carer quite a few times!

Goldrill Sun 24-Mar-13 15:51:41

ok; forget i asked. solicitor and police it is then.

Rainbowinthesky Sun 24-Mar-13 15:53:25

You still haven't given any real evidence of him being conned. Have you kept a record of the examples?

fridayfreedom Sun 24-Mar-13 15:54:13

I work with elderly people with the NHS and there are very strong guidelines about accepting any payment of any kind including in wills from any of our patients. If this carer works for an agency then they too should have guidelines on this. Even if your father is of sound mind and has capacity to make this decision no matter how foolish she should not be accepting anything like this from him as it is an abuse of her position and potentially very dodgy.
I would flag it up with her employer and probably also Adult Services as it may be a safeguarding issue especially if she Is potentially accepting things from other clients as well.

fishybits Sun 24-Mar-13 15:55:34

Whether he was conned or not, surely all your Grandfather has to do is change his will to reflect his change of mind. <not a legal eagle>

broccolirocks Sun 24-Mar-13 15:56:55

I'm a paid carer and I would never, never expect anything like this to happen. Sorry to disagree with the others but I agree you need to look into this. Her employers need to know what's happening regarding the car and the will, and if she is genuine she will have already have told them. Even the 'cash in hand' is potentially a sackable offence as she is not covered by insurance when she's not officially employed and they might not like the fact they're not getting their commission.

Tell the agency, and if you're genuinely concerned your grandad is emotionally vulnerable then, yes, also speak to the police to get advice, doesn't mean pressing charges.

I've had gifts and if it's more than a couple of pounds I always declare them, and if I thought I was putting myself in a position that could look dodgy, say someone with dementia, I would even refuse 50p.

mumblechum1 Sun 24-Mar-13 15:56:57

As Fishy says, your grandad can simply make a new will tomorrow if he wants to do so, and still has capacity.

fridayfreedom Sun 24-Mar-13 15:58:12

Just re-read your post, yep would raise it with Adult Services and also the police, they work together on safeguarding issues.
Get as much evidence as you can re what she has done, ask for bank statements etc

CajaDeLaMemoria Sun 24-Mar-13 15:59:18

From a legal standpoint, this will come down to your grandfather's state of mind.

The solicitor would contact his GP and find out if there is any reason that his decisions are not sound. This could cause a lot of bas feeling. If he is found to be unable to make decisions, someone would need to be appointed power of attorney and make all important decisions for him.

If he is found to be of sound mind, his decisions regarding inheritance stand.

Unless you are claiming that his carer threatened or coerced him into changing his will? That's a very strong accusation that would need to be made to the police, with your grandad giving a full statement.

Trazzletoes Sun 24-Mar-13 16:05:41

I can't believe that the carer would be allowed to receive a house, or even half of it!

OP, definitely solicitor and police. If there's nothing to investigate, then fine but it sounds as if your grandad is at least vulnerable. Just because someone appears to be of sound mind doesn't automatically mean that they are! You don't just wake up one day having lost the plot overnight!

It sounds like this woman knows she is abusing her position (if she knew she wasn't allowed to accept the car) and surely that is easily proved. Although he had sold it to her DH, I'm sure her employer can see through that!

Trazzletoes Sun 24-Mar-13 16:07:12

Er, rainbow she has a £4,500 car for £600!

Rainbowinthesky Sun 24-Mar-13 16:09:35

So why didn't they deal with the carer when this happened? I would be ballistic if it were my parent.

Rainbowinthesky Sun 24-Mar-13 16:10:18

If he is being abused then it has been happening for many years. sad

Moominsarehippos Sun 24-Mar-13 16:10:56

Doesn't Age Concern advise?

An elderly man I knew had a home help who jumped into bed with him before his wife was even cold. There was a good 50+ year age gap (not 'love' then). She got a fair bit out of him (incl a property) before the family managed to get the limpet off. Unfortunately, the chap was very much 'sound of mind' and very much 'I shall do as I please'. He was in a very low state after his wife died. The family told her they'd go to the police, so if she was doing nothing wrong, then she'd get an apology, otherwise...

JaquelineHyde Sun 24-Mar-13 16:16:49

Report it then but be prepared to lose what little time you have left with your Grandad.

Also bare in mind that your Grandad could still leave this woman whatever he wants. She may not officialy end up working for him but she could still remain good friends with him and continue to offer to care for him on a cash in hand basis.

I am also shocked that your family members suspected your Grandad was being taken advantage of/abused for years and yet chose to do nothing about it until he is about to die.

Not wanting to rock the boat hmm yes, yes because rocking the boat now just when it looks like someone is about to die is the much better option isn't it!!

Goldrill Sun 24-Mar-13 16:18:23

Thankyou, especially the carers - I was fairly sure this wouldn't be allowed but you never know and I'm certainly no expert. Age concern also a very good idea - I will pass all this on to my mum.

babybarrister Sun 24-Mar-13 16:19:33

I agree with whoever said that the employers will have very strict guidelines about this as it is all too easy to prey on vulnerable people. From the carer's point of view I have no doubt it would constitute gross misconduct if she knew about the bequest and did not report it to her employers. I also agree with whoever said that the GP and psychiatrists hold the answer as to whether or not your GF is capable of writing a will- at the end of the day he does have complete testamentary freedom and can leave his money to whoever he likes but only to the extent that he is of sound mind

Goldrill Sun 24-Mar-13 16:22:32

Jacqueline; "whatever". Don't be shocked: you have the barest of summaries and no nothing whatsoever of the detail.

Nandocushion Sun 24-Mar-13 16:26:30

I disagree with the other posters. An ex's elderly grandad was also conned into leaving a large share of money to one of his carers, and yes, it is elder abuse. Someone can be technically of sound mind but still easily coerced if they are in a vulnerable state, as I assume your grandad is if he relies on carers. Definitely go to a solicitor, and to the police - not sure if they can do anything though, as I believe it is a civil issue.

Coconutty Sun 24-Mar-13 16:35:03

Phone Age concern, go to see a solicitor. This doesn't seem right to me and I think you should fight it while he is still alive as after he dies it will become a nightmare.

Good luck with it.

JaquelineHyde Sun 24-Mar-13 16:35:16

But Goldrill you and your family have known this has been going on for ages and have chosen to do nothing about it until your inheritance is at risk!!

Of course it is not on for a carer to be doing what she is doing and there are very strict rules and regulations about this.

However, you have allowed it to happen, it wasn't kept secret from you and by failing to challege and protect your Grandad you are as guilty in all this as she is.

If you would like to drip feed onto the thread and give us more info then prehaps my opinion will change but on the information you have chosen to give us my opinion remains the same.

fridayfreedom Sun 24-Mar-13 16:51:34

I have been involved in these kind of cases through work. He may be able to make his own decisions and may have capacity so is therefore able to do what he wants however foolish.....however there does seem to be an abuse of power here and therefore that needs investigating.
Many families can not do anything as the eldery person truly beieves in the friendship and becomes dependent on them. They don't want to get this 'friend ' into trouble and believe that they are helping them. But...this should be a professional relationship and therefore regardless of how friendly they have become it shouldn't happen and as said above no carer worth their salt would enter into such arrangements.
One case I was involved with was like this but the 'friend ' soon disappeared when the elderly person could no longer manage their own monies and relatives tool over this role.
Jacqueline...most families are not interested in getting their own hands on an inheritance, most of it may go on care fees anyway, they just want the elderly person to spend it on themselves or to pay for good care.

fridayfreedom Sun 24-Mar-13 16:53:39

If Adult Services are using thsi agency for their care packages they will really want to know about this and I think you should raise it with them as there may be others out there who are being seen by this carer and are not of sound mind and therefore very vulnerable.

DorisIsWaiting Sun 24-Mar-13 16:54:36

OP i really feel for you, we are in a similar situation not a carer tho' but my cousin who is bleeding my grandmother dry and leaving her destitute and borrowing to survive, sadly she is alledegly of sound mind and won't hear a word against him " he a good lad". He's not he's a violent bully (the doors in her home all display evidence of his moods).

She's 87 and he's currently living with her after being kicked out of his last place. We have been really reluctant to push her as we are far away, and are worried if we tried to confront her it might cause her further health problems. However she has now borrowed further from a friend and dsis (whilst on avisit) has worked out she is £4000 adrift (unexplained spending) this year alone whilst living in poverty. My father has finally seen the light as is going to stay.

It is not easy particularly with older people who can not see/ choose to ignore that they are being manipulated.

Good luck

Gales Sun 24-Mar-13 16:58:33

My gran gave her car to her carer's son. Probably not worth much (£1500?), but she didn't take any cash for it.

She did it because the carer had been with her for years and in Gran's view had gone beyond the call of duty and was "family". The boy had been unemployed since leaving school, was finally offered a job but couldn't get there without a car. Gran could help and she wanted to. It made her feel good. She was of sound mind and therefore, what she did with her money was nobody's business but her own.

I agree that it is probably contestable and that she carer won't be able to accept, but it's what he wants. IMO it wold be a shame if his family rode roughshod over that.

I also find it odd that despite "knowing" this was going on for years no-one has thought to do anything about it until now.

SirChenjin Sun 24-Mar-13 16:59:50

I would be very surprised if she is allowed to do this - I know my FILs carers had very strict guidelines that they had to adhere to, and rightly so.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 20:54:19

GALES of course he was devastated his father DIED!

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

What is the date on the current will ?

What actually happened that day ?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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