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Getting POA

(26 Posts)
ConnieBowskill Sun 08-Jan-17 00:25:45

Really need to get POA for Mum with Alzheimer's but she has never wanted us to have it, not outright refused but just uncooperative, also has always refused to make a will, even before the dementia. We could probably just fill in the forms and cajole her into signing, but is that fair, ethical or what others would do? Before long it will be too late. Have managed up to now with joint accounts etc.

Also have many concerns about increasing self neglect, but will save that for another day when I can explain myself a bit better!

gillybeanz Sun 08-Jan-17 00:31:03

A POA is done by a solicitor and the person signing has to be of sound mind.
You don't get POA you are given it by the person/s
It is the same with a Will, the solicitor has to know they are of sound mind or it isn't worth the paper it's written on.

Alonglongway Sun 08-Jan-17 00:51:56

Ethically I think it hangs on why she was reluctant

Going through process now with my parents who both have dementia. They've told me several times they want me and my daughter, not my brother. We've been meaning to do it all year and not getting to it but urgent now. I went through some papers while they were in hospital and found they had drafted one with their wills 15 years ago but never signed it and it can't be used. However it was made out to me (daughter not old enough. Then) so I'm happy we're following their wishes. I've used the online form on gov website and listed their gp as the certifying person. Hooing to get done next week

whataboutbob Sun 08-Jan-17 18:29:46

Connie, my dad already had dementia y the time i managed to cajole him into signing POA. For me the salient points were:
I desperately needed POA to manage his affairs, there was no one else around to do it. I wasn't doing it for myself, but for him
The more someone is losing their grip on their affairs through dementia, the more they tend to think everything is OK and they are managing fine. While Dad was well he would not have wanted to think about this unpleasant eventuality. Therefore I needed to get him to sign, so i went all out to convince him into it. Do whatever it takes.
The GP was happy to sign that he had capacity because he knew the family and the situation well.
You do not need a solicitor, I did it all myself and even paid the fee because Dad wouldn't have. It is fiddly but not impossible for someone of average intelligence and organisational skills. i set aside a good hour to read the form before attempting to fill it.

ConnieBowskill Sun 08-Jan-17 23:09:39

Thank you all for replies. I am ok with the filling in of the forms and know it needs to be done soon or it will be too late. It's not that Mum doesn't want us to manage things for her, she actually asked me to look at things about four years ago as she knew she was struggling, and I've sorted out direct debits, attendance allowance, council tax exemption etc. I just find it so hard to say to her " Please can we do POA" even though it's solely to protect her, and for her benefit. She did it for her Dad many years ago but doesn't recall that now. I think I just want reassurance that it's ok to persue it, sorry I'm waffling a bit. Thanks esp Bob, your reply is what I needed to hear. Now I need to decide whether to go to GP the other route where relatives are notified, does anyone know about that? I don't need to use a solicitor. Many thanks.

Needmoresleep Mon 09-Jan-17 12:55:17

Gilly is wrong. You can do it yourself. Why do people keep posting assertions that are so clearly checkable I am pretty sure you can also do a will yourself.

We probably got there in the nick of time, when my mother's memory was failing. She had finally agreed to grant a POA, so we were on reasonable moral ground, but kept missing the solicitors appointments she had made. She had a fall, and we could wait no longer. We did it ourselves, not least because the solicitor had been so unhelpful. (I later discovered that she had not sorted out my late father's bank accounts etc. Part of my motivation in keeping my mother's affairs up to date is to minimise any probate fees she can earn on my mother's death.) We got the priest who had known her for a number of years to witness, which was really helpful. He knew she needed support, and she was reassured that any advice he gave would be based on her best interests.

Needmoresleep Mon 09-Jan-17 13:12:09

Connie, not too sure what you mean by the other route.

My brother completed the form, having me as attorney and DH as alternate. He did not want to be involved, which was a pity, but at least this means I can get on and make days to day decisions without family negotiation. We got the priest to witness, with him explaining to my mother what the form was for and why it was time for her to sign. My cousin, and a niece who was over 21 were the other two signatories.

The OPG were very helpful. The key things to decide are whether to have a single or joint attorneys. My (personal) view is that single is better for the finance one, if one person is doing bills and banking. Checks and balances, if needed, can be done in other ways, for example the accountant could share my mother's tax return, or I could be asked to produce an annual statement covering my mums expenses, income and assets. I would prefer if the Care and Welfare one were shared, as I don't want to be making the big decisions on my own. It seems sensible to think about an alternate right at the start, so something is in place should anything happen to you.

The other thing to look for is ensuring you have the ability to charge for expenses and possibly time. The ability to do this should be explicitly added to the form. I am unusual in that I am essentially running a business for my mum, on top of organising all the care stuff. It is like a job. I would be very resentful if, as well as giving up my time, I were out of pocket. However the same would apply if there were less money, but where one sibling was doing the bulk of the work, and was constantly having to put their hands in their pocket for petrol money, hospital parking etc.

lokisglowstickofdestiny1 Mon 09-Jan-17 13:17:53

Please sort out a POA before your Mum loses capacity. I'm not a solicitor but in my line of work I deal a lot with the elderly and their families and it's a much longer and far more expensive process to deal with once the individual has lost capacity and in the meantime you would all be stuck in limbo.
OPG website has all the information you need and you don't need a solicitor but you will need a certificate provider (that could be your GP or someone over 18 who has known your Mum for a certain period - think at least 2 years) to verify that your Mum understands what she is doing.

ConnieBowskill Mon 09-Jan-17 14:19:59

Need more sleep, by the other route I meant when you have to notify people who might be interested to allow them to object, sadly I fear one of our relies might just, to be awkward! Maybe I misunderstood and we can bypass that stage by asking the GP, though last time we saw him to express our anxiety over her deteriorating condition, he forgot she had a diagnosis despite authorising the meds a minute before, and tried to do a referral all over again! So not sure how helpful he'll be!

Think I need to send for a new pack of forms and read all through again ( no access to printer to do online at present)

lokisglowstickofdestiny1 Mon 09-Jan-17 14:48:47

A donor doesn't have to notify anyone if they don't want to. It's just an additional security precaution. If they do decide to notify, the other person can only object on prescribed grounds not because they just don't like it. One reason would be if they felt that the donor or the attorney didn't have mental capacity. OPG would look into this before registering the LPA.
You can't bypass the requirement for a certificate provider - but it doesn't have to be your GP. If your Mum does already have Alzheimer's though it may be good to get her GP to be certificate provider as there would be less challenge on the grounds of capacity should someone wish to go down this route.
It has to be said though that someone can challenge a LPA at any time and raise an issue with the OPG if they believe that the donor lacked capacity at the time they completed the LPA or they think the attorney isn't acting in the interests of the donor. Picking up on something you wrote in your OP about cajoling her to sign the forms - no don't do this it could be seen as duress.

NewUserName01 Mon 09-Jan-17 15:18:10

Same as whataboutbob. We cajoled Dad into it and am so relieved we did. Just doing Mum's now. She's absolutely fine at the moment but can see how important it is to get it done.

NewspaperTaxis Sat 14-Jan-17 16:25:45

If there is one massive regret my family has, it's not having got PoA for our mother, who now has advanced Parkinson's. It cannot be got retrospectively, that is to say, once someone is deemed to have lost mental capacity. Yeah, I don't know, maybe some obliging GP may be able to wave it through on the quiet and look the other way, but I have never known that happen.

Failure to get PoA in Health and Welfare, and once they lose mental capacity, the State assumes legal control of your mum/dad. You, as next of kin, have no legal power whatsoever. When I say 'state' I mean some of the grubbiest folk who work in your local Council's adult social care, Safeguarding heads who turn a blind eye to care home abuse, that sort of thing. They can intervene to stop you moving your relative to another care home, and get up to all sorts of tricks, just to toy with you and gang up with the care home against you. If you have never experienced this hitherto, well, that's how they want it. Wait til you need PoA and don't have it, then they show their hand.

I mean, seriously, no one mentioned PoA before we needed it, and after that, v often it's the first thing anyone mentions. It's like 'Can we turn you over or not?' Be it our local MP when discussing care home issues, hospital care, care homes, the whole lot. Don't have it, and you won't even be allowed to look at your relative's medical notes, though some nurse who met her only two days ago can.

It is hard work all this, and care homes don't have to do anything. To have all the responsibility and no power is a recipe for massive stress. Take it from me.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Sun 22-Jan-17 20:10:43

Newspaper I thought it was possible to get a Court of Protection order once capacity is gone? Much harder and more expensive than LPA but an option?

OP would it help at all to present this to your mum as a general safeguard/way to help rather than specifically to do with her dementia? There's no need to have a health condition to give an LPA after all.

NewspaperTaxis Mon 23-Jan-17 11:19:20

Hi Mrs MR, I don't think so, know. In theory, yes, and there was a piece in i newspaper one week ago exactly in which a wife talks of having got a Court of Protection order for her husband who was hit by a car and lost mental capacity. I think that is mainly for financial affairs, and it is easier to get on that front.

But an elderly parent? Again, in terms of finance, yes, I think you can. We already had that. But two solicitors have informed me in no uncertain terms that it is very very difficult to get Deputyship for an elderly parent who has lost mental capacity, it's virtually impossible. That's what I've been told, but it seems to me there are a good many prepared to tell you otherwise, it's just when you actually go to do it, you find out the truth.

In theory it might be an option, but in practice I don't think it is.

Panga63 Mon 23-Jan-17 20:06:24

DM had a massive stroke very soon after DF died. We were grieving and so didnt get round to arranging POA for DM before the stroke which left her unable to speak or write. Nearly a year later we are still trying to apply through the courts for "deputyship" (rather than POA as DM cant give consent).

Sitoff Tue 24-Jan-17 11:43:00

I am doing Financial and Health and Care Power of Attorneys for my parents at the moment. I got the OPG to send me the forms and booklet to help completing them. I have just submitted the Financial ones which I prepared myself and used a friend/neighbour as the certificate provider. The same friend was the witness to the signatures. Fingers crossed my understanding is correct but I thought it was all very straightforward although it did require a bit of concentration!

If I am correct then it should be possible for most people caring for elderly parents to do the same provided they have the £110 required to register each form and they are confident that their relative does have the necessary mental capacity. It would be wrong to force someone to sign the form but equally I agree with Bob if you are doing it with the intention of being able to help it is such an important to tool to enable you to do that. In the case of someone who is already showing signs of diminishing mental capacity a certificate provider such as a gp would presumably be more helpful were there to be a subsequent challenge as they have certified presumably in a medical capacity that they are satisfied that mental capacity has been considered.

I will come back and update if and when I hear back from the OPG as I may be wrong!

NewUserName01 Tue 24-Jan-17 11:57:38

The online forms are here:
www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney
It costs £110 each for 'Health and welfare' and 'Property and financial affairs'.

You pay online and then can print off the forms and get them signed in the correct order.

You can't complete the whole process for someone else. They have to have capacity to sign the forms to give you power of attorney and you need people to witness your signatures. However, you can fill in the forms and pay for them without going to a solicitor (as others have said above).

Sitoff Tue 07-Mar-17 14:11:13

Just popped back to say my POAs were accepted and registered. It is very straightforward - we used a friend/neighbour as the certificate provider as well as witness.

whataboutbob Tue 07-Mar-17 21:57:11

Well done!
Connie how did you get on?

IadoreEfteling Wed 08-Mar-17 19:42:18

NewspaperTaxis Sat 14-Jan-17 16:25:45

i had similar situation with relative but has LD turned over to state care it was hideous orwellian situation, painful - awful and in the end - he died in suspicious circumstances. flowers

Why oh Why isnt all this out there in public domain - it should be LAW that at certain age you are forced to get all this sorted out incl Wills!!

WandaBack Wed 08-Mar-17 19:52:29

When DF died we suggested it to mum "just in case it's ever needed". She was happy with that and five years down the line we haven't needed it yet. I did it all myself, no need for solicitors.

Incidentally DH and I have also done them for ourselves with each other plus adult DC as attorneys.

IadoreEfteling Wed 08-Mar-17 19:54:54

@sitoff

Can you help me with steps please

1) I print off or contact OPG to get me forms, I then send them to DF? He lives long way away or - do them myself and he signs?

2) send them back to OPG - recorded? with cheque -

3) it says ten weeks how long do you think it actually is?

Sitoff Thu 09-Mar-17 09:08:34

Iadore If you are doing it from afar entirely up to you whether you or DF obtain forms and complete them but unless he is keen to do it himself might speed the process along to go online and complete them and print them off for him. Then DF signs section 9 in front of a witness and gets section 10 completed (we used the same neighbour who has known my parents for many years and was able to confirm all the statements) and returns to you. You and any other attorneys then need to sign section 11 in front of a witness.

To register (which I would do immediately in case there are any mistakes) section 12 must be signed by the donor (your DF) or the attorney(s) At this stage if you are happy to pay the fee you (and any other attorneys) could sign section 15 - if not you will have to return the form to DF for him to sign and submit. We sent a cheque recorded incase they were lost and I had to recomplete all the forms.

Office Public Guardian are really helpful - ring if anything is not clear.

We submitted the forms in Jan and got a response within 10 days to say they had been accepted and provided there were no objections they would be registered in 3 weeks. We got final confirmation exactly 5 weeks after they were sent.

Sitoff Thu 09-Mar-17 09:11:02

Should add that if you complete section 6 there will be a delay while they are notified.

WandaBack Thu 09-Mar-17 09:28:11

ladore I just checked the POAs we did for ourselves.
We signed the forms on 29/10/16 and they were registered on 8/12/16 so six weeks.

The forms are not difficult and there is plenty of guidance online but I imagine they might be far too daunting for an elderly / frail person to fill in themselves.
I did them online, you can pay online as well. Print off then get everyone to sign in the right place in the right order.
There are parts where you can express preferences and I suggest you follow the guidance carefully and keep these to a minimum to avoid rejection or ambiguity. For DM we made note of her regular charitable donations but not much else.

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