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Mother hoarding her state pension

(27 Posts)
Str4ngedaysindeed Sun 25-Jun-17 10:58:34

My mother is pretty much house bound so I do shopping cleaning etc. She does get attendance allowance which I have told her she really needs to spend on a carer but she's being difficult about that!! The main issue is that she has nearly £8000 in her post office account from her state pension credit. It's because she rarely gets out ( although I do take her out) and she basically spends nothing. She lives in a sheltered flats and has about 12000 in capital. Will she be penalised for having this state pension pretty much 'hoarded' away ? It's just built up as I get out maybe £500 every month for her so she's rarely touching it. We've suggested we take some and put it into an account for her in our names for her funeral etc ( she has no provision) but she's being odd about that too.
To be honest this is just the tip of the iceberg, my life is bloody awful at the moment and she is not helping by assuming I'm constantly on call! She's convinced they can't touch her pension but I need to know! Cannot find it online anywhere. Can anyone tell me???

AntiHop Sun 25-Jun-17 11:01:42

Pension credit is means tested. That means that if you've got more than a certain about of money in the bank, you are not entitled to it. The same with housing benefit. This is not the case for ordinary state pension or attendance allowance.

AndNowItIsSeven Sun 25-Jun-17 11:02:50

No £8k won't affect anything.

DoItTooJulia Sun 25-Jun-17 11:02:58

Is this about the money or about what you're expected to do for your mother?

When you say penalised-by who?

And re funerals, her bank will release the cost of the funeral to you when you present them the invoice from the funeral director. They will either write a cheque made oitmto the funeral directors or transfer the money directly.

Hope you're doing ok-sounds like you're struggling with it all flowers

DoItTooJulia Sun 25-Jun-17 11:04:24

Sorry-I misread, thought it was just a state pension that had built up, didn't realise it was pension credit too.

Str4ngedaysindeed Sun 25-Jun-17 11:17:10

I'm struggling generally! just worried about the build up as well. Penalised by housing benefit etc.
Do should I encourage her to spend it?

Jamhandprints Sun 25-Jun-17 11:24:25

Is the £500 her money or yours? Is there anything she needs or you need, like petrol money etc? You need to sort the carer issue for your own sanity. Can you arrange an "interview" so she can choose someone she likes?

annandale Sun 25-Jun-17 11:25:05

If i were you i would call the ageuk helpline and get up to date advice. Benefits and pensions are a bloody minefield and always changing. There's great advice on MN but it's hard to work out which bits are which.

If you're currently doing quite a bit for your mother, how about saying to her that you are going on 'holiday' for thre weeks (say you won it in a competition or something) and talk about organising care while you are away? Once she has it in place you could sit down with her and ask her to keep the arrangement going? You would have to stick to your guns and not be in touch, but maybe task a friend with popping round just to se how things are going?

You have a life and are allowed to keep having it.

Str4ngedaysindeed Sun 25-Jun-17 11:34:08

Thank you. It's been getting worse for ages now. I am currently outside her flat waiting to pick her up to take her to ours and dreading it as ever!! we have had holidays and she just sort of waits for us to get back. There are so many things at play here. I may spill it all on here later if i may?

AfunaMbatata Sun 25-Jun-17 11:38:17

Could she buy some homeaids to help her be more independent? A chair that helps her stand and sit for example, automatic can openers, good quality ready meals and a microwave.

AntiHop Sun 25-Jun-17 11:40:19

You said your mum has £8 in her post office account and £12k in capital. According to this age UK fact sheet, this will affect her benefits. I think you need to call she UK or can or similar to get some advice. www.ageuk.org.uk/money-matters/claiming-benefits/means-tested-benefits/

Str4ngedaysindeed Sun 25-Jun-17 12:09:56

I will. It has built up obviously, since she became unable to get out, so we must do something about it.

Str4ngedaysindeed Sun 25-Jun-17 13:35:32

So we have been speaking to her and she has decided that we should withdraw some and put it into another account in our names. I guess this sounds like she's trying to fiddle but I thought that as it was her pension and an amount she is entitled to as it were, it shouldn't matter that it's built up. Does that make sense? Had she been withdrawing it weekly it would have been spent.
Oh god I am so tired of all this. 😔 She's unwell, old and I have no support from my sister who refuses to even acknowledge her. It's really difficult.

annandale Sun 25-Jun-17 14:33:58

I think it's fine morally to do this especially if you spend it on care for her/respite for you, but i do think you must get legal advice as well.

confuugled1 Sun 25-Jun-17 14:49:32

Have you got power of attorney set up for her for health and money? That can cost a bit but it's much better to do before she gets to a point that she doesn't have the faculties to do it.

You don't need it to be activated until she needs it so she doesn't need to worry that you'll be able to take over immediately but very useful to have especially if she is housebound andif thete are problems later on.

I don't know a lot about it other than helping my mum and aunt to set theirs up but they are definitely happier knowing that it is sorted. Age Concern should definitely be able to help.

thesandwich Sun 25-Jun-17 14:55:15

Sounds like you have got so much on. Age U.K. Can offer advice- and certainly power of attourney would help- you can do it on line and get it authorised- much cheaper.
Getting her to accept a cleaner/ carer sounds like a good step. And do feel free to offload- lots of wisdom, support and understanding 🌺🌺

Str4ngedaysindeed Sun 25-Jun-17 15:21:14

We started doing the POA but for some reason never got round to completing it. I must do so. It is just hard work as I'm sure you all know! I'm talking about a carer every time I see her and she's very resistant but hopefully we can get through to her soon!

IvorHughJarrs Sun 25-Jun-17 15:26:45

Depending on how much she transfers, I think you may have to pay tax on it if she dies within 7 years. Check it out with AgeUK as I am not sure but think it may not be as simple as moving money away so you can claim benefits or care costs

drspouse Sun 25-Jun-17 15:36:19

My MIL got into this situation and we could accept gifts that would be typical parent to child gifts (e.g. when we got married) but not just random transfers of money.
DH had the login for her online bank details which helped. He did have POA but she could never have set it up.
She was happy to have carers, we used to buy her clothes etc but the carers did the rest. We would buy much nicer than she would normally e.g. cashmere. DH was a bit sad she didn't have the money when she was younger.
She had meals on wheels which was really just posh ready meals only cheap.

Str4ngedaysindeed Mon 26-Jun-17 07:56:31

So what I'm going to do is take some out and put it into her bank account and then some more into our account. Then I will bite the bullet and insist she at least talks to a carers agency or something similar! I was made redundant recently so obviously this has made her think I'm more available but I'm going to get back to work in the next few weeks so will have to be stern!
It's not, as I said a matter of trying to diddle the system, just that it's built up as she hasn't been able to spend it.

FinallyHere Mon 26-Jun-17 08:02:06

Feel for you in a difficult position, you are being very kind in difficult circumstances.

When our elderlies needed more help than we could provide, we found country cousins agency very good for live in help https://www.country-cousins.co.uk For daily help, just asking round locally, we found a very flexible independent carer. It took something to get the elderlies to accept the paid help, but then they treated them so much better than they did us, the family, it was very much worthwhile to persist and get them to accept paying for help.

Hope you find what works for you

JigglyTuff Mon 26-Jun-17 08:04:09

Could you start with a cleaner and then expand into care? That's what we did with my gran when she was being resistant. Basically the cleaner was a carer but initially going in under the guise of being a cleaner. Once the trust had been built up, she gradually accepted her expanding the remit into care duties.

Good luck with it - I know how absolutely draining it is.

DownHereInTheHorridHouse Mon 26-Jun-17 08:13:22

Previous poster is right though - you do have to be careful with transfers of money or what can be seen as 'unusual' purchases as they can be questioned at a later date.

When my dad died, my mum pretty much gave up and told me to do everything - I found about £10k around the house in cash (they weren't wealthy, only had state pension, although I'd got them sorted with everything they needed and they wanted for nothing, had a lovely house etc). When I took it into the bank, the teller told me that happens all the time with elderly people - some of them seem to think that if they don't keep it in cash, it will get taken back if they don't 'use it up'. So, I would check around your mum's house to see if she's hoarding money there as well.

I'm really sorry that you're having a hard time - you definitely should offload later. It's a very difficult time of life and I know just what you're going through.

cheesypastatonight Mon 26-Jun-17 08:16:49

Why are you putting some in your account? Why do you think she has to spend it if she doesn't want to? (Apart from needing care, that is ).

DownHereInTheHorridHouse Mon 26-Jun-17 11:19:27

I thought that OP was transferring it so that she could get her mum things that would make her (the mum) have an easier life but that she was unwilling to pay for?

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