AIBU in expecting her care costs to be paid from her income(208 Posts)
Hi, I am a long time lurker, infrequent poster, especially after the security thing. I have posted on AIBU because of the traffic but am probably in the wrong place. I am a bit at my wits end.
My mother has been living with me and my family DP, DSs (7 and 2) for 10 years now. I have moved her around the country with me. For most of the time she has been well. 5 years ago she started getting confused and for the last year she has deteriorated badly with episodes of extreme agitation and getting extremely angry with me and DP.
My brother is an accountant. He has been looking after her financial affairs since our father passed away 15 years ago. My mother has an income of around £30,000. She has hardly needed this as I have supported most of her living costs but had used it for shopping trips. As she has become increasingly confused my brother has taken her credit card and PIN and used it at her request or for things she needed to do to sort out her own income.
My brother and I always had a verbal agreement that if she required care, we would use her funds to pay for this. In the mean time, I suspect he has been using her income for his own purposes.
In the last few weeks, she has deteriorated markedly and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She is confused all day, agitated and unable to self care. She is now incontinent of urine and faeces.
I work full time in excess of 50 hours and so does my DP. My old nanny is now a family friend and has been visiting my mother and my new nanny has made meals for her, which she eats with the kids. DP works at home 2 days a week and sorts out hospital appointments, daily medication etc.
I have raised the issue of carers with my brother but he is refusing to use her funds to support this. DP and I are not in a position to pay for carers, as our budget is already stretched to the max with childcare requirements.
I don't think I am being unreasonable in asking for her income to be used for her care but I am really stuck about what I can do about it. He holds the purse strings completely and has even declined my request to buy some incontinence knickers, saying I should foot the bill or (when pushed) that we should split the cost. It seems that it's going to be uphill work just getting the basics for her care. I'd appreciate any advice.
See a solicitor. Your brother is acting illegally.
Does he have financial power of attorney?
Do you have power of attorney? You need urgent advice from a solicitor. Maybe CAB or social services could help.
If you thought your brother was stealing from your mum, why does he hold purse strings, when you are looking after her, and why didn't you act before? He sounds horrible.
I'm no expert whatsoever. But the "agreement" you've had with your brother is pants and has obviously been detrimental. With her diagnosis of Alzheimers, you need to get a power of attorney over her affairs. Probably jointly with your brother as I doubt he'll allow you to do it on your own. As she has sadly lost mental capacity, it will need to be done through the courts.
Of course her care needs should come out of her income and your brother sounds like a complete arse who more than likely from what you've posted, has things to hide.
I'm sorry you're going through this. I think you need to speak to a solicitor ASAP. Good luck
You need a solicitor involved I feel.... This sounds such hard work, I'm sorry you are all going through this
Your brother is awful. I agree see a solicitor, or threaten to first. Does he have power of attorney for her finances?
Tell him that he can take over her full time care then, as you can't afford it. It actually sounds as though you're doing amazingly well with her and saving her from being in a home.
Does no one have power of attorney over her affairs? If not then it needs sorting out quickly
Yes, see a solicitor. Her money is just that - her money. It should be used for anything she needs and by your brother withholding funds, it could be construed as him defrauding her.
Does your brother hold an official lasting power of attorney for your mum? Is it solely him or are you jointly named?
Of course her money should be used for her care. There is no way you should fund this. You could have asked for a contribution to her upkeep before now if you wanted. He should be keeping records which you can ask to see of how much she has and what he has spent on her behalf.
If he refuses to disclose the finances then you should report him to social services or to the Court of protection for possible financial abuse of a vulnerable adult.
Aa a solicitor (although not specialized in this field), I am urging you to see a solicitor now! It might seem a bit expensive and you think you don't have the money but it will save you thousands in the long term.
You are right that her care should be paid from her funds. And if you suspect he's been using her funds it is another very good (and urgent) reason to seek legal counsel.
What an awful situation. There's no way you can continue with this arrangement, it sounds totally unsustainable. I think that you should have the conversation with your mum and start putting wheels in motion for arranged care, then it forces the issue with your brother. Hopefully the funds are there, but I'm afraid I'm with the other suspicions. That's not your concern, and if it is the case then I'm sorry, he deserves all he gets. It's you, your family and your life that have been there and supported her for 10 years and I can't get over the gall he has to veto your suggestion.
Tough, difficult decisions to make
you need a solicitor to sort out power of attourney. You need medical advice and assessments of your mother's needs. You need Social Services to assess the situation and to help sort out your mother's financial situation. Your brother will have to listen to them.
In the meantime you could call her bank and explain the situation and get her card cancelled so he can't use it.
Does she have a CPN or other mental health worker involved? If you can't face doing it yourself then tell a professional and they will have a duty to report and investigate it as a safeguarding issue.
Thanks for your responses.
I know I should have acted before now. It has just been easier to keep the peace and pay for what's required. My mother has always favoured him and he has manipulated this situation. He is used to thinking of her income as his own mainly because he's had it this way with her consent until now. I have been excluded from the financial decisions since my father passed away.
I think he doesn't have any formal power of attorney. He is quite action averse and so I suspect he hasn't applied for this. I was thinking of applying for this myself, but as you say he will not allow me to do this without him. My worry about raising this option is that he will apply for sole power of attorney and effectively formalising the situation as it currently is.
YANBU at all, you need legal advice ASAP.
Ring the bank and cancel her card explaining the score and go from there.
If your brother has been using her money then ring the police.
I wouldn't worry the law being on his side considering your mothers money is going into his pocket.
You need proper advice.
Agree with mamadoc
Call Social services and raise a SOVA ( Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adult) complaint.
They are duty bound to protect your DM and investigate.
Have you got any evidence- texts, emails ?
Solicitor immediately, it's a few hundred thousand that should be in her accounts if this money hasn't been used much by your mum for ten years.
That money must now be used for carers, equipment and any adaptations that may help in your home.
If your mum has already lost capacity then your brother (or you) cannot apply for power of attorney. P o A is granted be by someone before they lose capacity. Once capacity is lost you're into guardianship, which has to be granted by thee courts.
Pudcat, if social services get involved and recommend care can he just not decline this option? How can they force him to pay?
The power of attorney won't just be given to him now that your mother can't make her own financial decisions. It will need to be dealt with formally and in all likelihood the Court of Protection will have to be involved.
This isn't my area of law at all but I have some knowledge from when my grandmother developed dementia very quickly and my DF and Aunt didn't sort out the PoA soon enough. I now hold PoA for my parents just in case its ever needed, DH has the same for his parents. Hopefully someone who deals with these matters will be along soon.
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