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Please can I beg advice - my mum is in a dreadful situation

(19 Posts)
morbeus Sun 09-Nov-14 02:50:14

Such a long convoluted tale but in a nutshell - my mum is approaching 80. She is in an extremely frail state physically but is mentally sound. She lives 200 miles away from me with my brother and her partner of 30 years. My cousin lives near to them and is very close to mum. I visit mum once a week (have 4 dc and chronically ill dh) but I also spend some of that time visiting my dad. It means I only get to see each of them for about an hour a week.

Cousin rang tonight to say mum is very upset - there has been a big row between mum and my brother. Oh, I'm getting bogged down with detail. What I wanted to ask was is there any way to rush through the registration of an enduring power of attorney. Brother is being aggressive and hostile to mum, her partner is trying to pressurise her into signing some valuable shares to him. Cousin told me that she passed him a note which said she was afraid sad Cousin also told me a lot has been happening which mum has kept from me - partly because she thinks I have enough on my plate but also because, despite everything, she favours my brother over me so will never speak ill of him to me.

I had no idea things were this bad. We need to protect her from these awful people - working on the best way to do it. But thought if we registered the power of attorney asap at least the partner would get nowhere with his attempts to get her to sign stuff

Sorry for scant details, it really is very involved. Please can anyone advise re rushing through power of attorney. Oh and mum has been admitted to hospital tonight with breathing difficulties - cousin says she's in a bad way.

ColdCottage Sun 09-Nov-14 03:53:50

I don't know the answer to your question but if you speak to citizens advice or better still make a free consultation appointment with your local solicitors they should be able to advise you. Also try looking on the .gov website for advice.
Sorry this must be such a worry.

ColdCottage Sun 09-Nov-14 03:54:29

Also take your mum out for tea next time you see her so you can talk privately about the situation.

Mumblechum1 Sun 09-Nov-14 19:03:34

If your mum has mental capacity now, she should make a lasting power of attorney (LPA). This would only take a few days to sort out with a local solicitor who will act as her certificate provider.

It does take a couple of months to register with the office of the public guardian so the sooner she sees a solicitor the better.

I have an article on my website www.marlowwills.co.uk which explains the procedure. Pls note I'm not touting for business, I only act as certificate provider for people in my immediate area but you may find the article helpful.

You need to get your mum to see a solicitor in her area very soon.

dunfightin Sun 09-Nov-14 20:47:05

Phone Age UK as soon as their helplines open. They have excellent advisors and can tap into help/advice for wherever your mum is living. Sadly, it's not uncommon for vulnerable elderly people to be abused financially and emotionally.
Gather the information and if you can go and support her. Once you have done the legwork there are good checks and balances and Age Uk do a lot of advocacy work

morbeus Sun 09-Nov-14 23:11:06

Thank you all for answering and apologies for not replying sooner - have been on the road today. I appreciate the time and effort you've all taken.

I've been to see mum in hospital today. The ante has upped a bit as I discovered (from my cousin) that she has bruising on her arm. The bruises look like grip marks. She was very weak and not able to speak much but wouldn't say anything, even now, to implicate my brother or her partner. Later, I visited my cousin who showed me the note she had written him, claiming to be afraid. It was heartbreaking.

I have a friend who is a police officer (not in my or my mum's area) and I've run the whole sorry tale by her. She's going to contact an officer local to my mum, brief her/him and text me the number tomorrow. I will speak to them on phone tomorrow, and go and see them in person on Thursday. My mother will never forgive me but my conscience can't rest easy if I do nothing to help. I only hope police involvement won't make things worse for her. I'll ring age concern tomorrow too - really good suggestion, thank you.

Mumblechum, you're very close to me - I'm in nearby dump town beginning with 'M' smile Is the enduring PoA no good? Is that because she has all her mental faculties? I fear mum is too frail to visit a solicitor, even if I could persuade her to do so.

Thanks again.

Mumblechum1 Mon 10-Nov-14 00:07:06

Ah, hadn't realised there's already an EPA, I saw your reference to one but presumed your mum didn't have anything in place just yet. In that case, if it appoints you and not your brother, it can be registered as and when your mum loses capacity.

Alternatively she can make an LPA ( these replaced EPAs in Oct 2007) and it can be used immediately that it's been registered.

I suggest that you look at the website of the Office of the Public Guardian as well as seeing Age Concern and a local solicitor. I'm afraid I won't be able to help as am snowed under at the moment, but hope you get it sorted.

knewnana Mon 10-Nov-14 00:57:12

Sorry to hear about your mum, it must be very worrying for you.

My DM signed an EPA about 10 years ago and two years ago we (my DB and I) officially registered it. I do seem to recall that we had to give official notice to her brother and sister (our aunt and uncle) that we were applying for registration of the EPA, so, assuming my memory is correct on this, this would not help in the short term.

If she is being pressured to sign over shares, then is there any way that you can "look after" the certificates in question for her? In the short term this would make signing over the shares very much more complicated.

If your DM is incapable of visiting a solicitor (as mine was) then you may be able to find one to visit her - if she doesn't already have one, then look for a local family firm who should be more accommodating.

Sending you flowers and hope things improve.

mameulah Mon 10-Nov-14 07:47:35

I am so sorry that your Mum is not having a good time just now. I don't know much about the legal side if things but wonder if getting more evidence through your Mums hand written notes would be a possibility?

Definitely keep the hand written note that your cousin has. Perhaps lay off the police support for a couple of days to see if she could communicate more information in writing through your cousin?

Also, I know that our solicitor recently said that there is generally a big back log of paperwork in the office that processes the Power of Attorney but if there is an immediate concern they usually fast forward that application.

Also, and apologies if this is barking up the wrong tree, could you frighten her partner and your brother into thinking you have more written evidence than you actually do? That way they may back off and your M and you wouldn't necessarily have the falling out they you are expecting with the police involvement?

Definitely get and hide as much of the crucial documents as you can.

All the best.

mameulah Mon 10-Nov-14 07:49:55

Sorry for typos, on phone.

callow Mon 10-Nov-14 07:59:07

You could also contact the local social services and speak with someone from the Safeguarding Adults team.

They should be able to do an assessment.

MrsSquirrel Mon 10-Nov-14 10:14:34

If you are in Bucks (guessing so if you are local to mumblechum) they have a special Careline to report abuse of vulnerable adults.

Being pressurised to sign over assets is financial abuse. The bruising on her arm could be a sign of physical abuse. Also the note to your cousin saying she is afraid is a sign of emotional abuse. Sadly, ss will have seen all this before. They should be able to help, whether or not it becomes a police matter.

KirstyJC Mon 10-Nov-14 10:21:29

Definitely get social services involved - you can call the team local to her and register your concern that she is a vulnerable adult and that you are worried she is being abused. Make sure your cousin keeps the note - and if possible can the cousin log down the date it was given to him? It might help to keep a timeline and it would show it was recent and ongoing, and they wouldn't be able to claim it was from years ago and not a problem now etc etc.

If she is still in hospital, I would contact the ward and the hospital social work team and also register your concerns then. That might be enough to stop her being returned home into an abusive situation. Although if she refuses to tell anyone about it, then there probably isn't anything they can do if she wants to go back home.

It's so horrible to see this sort of thing happening. :-(

ColdCottage Mon 10-Nov-14 18:05:41

I hope your mum is ok.

juliascurr Mon 10-Nov-14 18:13:14

www.ageuk.org.uk/money-matters/

hpe you get some help soon

Greengrow Tue 11-Nov-14 09:35:48

Awful situation.
The trouble is the mother is mentally well so it would be morally wrong to take over her affairs. Is the existing enduring power in your name or your brother's?

One solution is if your mother agrees you spend more time up there but I bet that is hard with your own family situation. Also if your mother agrees you could instal a spycam in a couple of rooms of her house.

Thymeout Tue 11-Nov-14 19:54:53

I don't know if this has been changed, but under the old P.A. system, my mother had to sign to say that she agreed with the P.A. being activated. It had been set up some years previously.

ElsieMc Wed 12-Nov-14 12:20:03

I was a care manager and had a similar situation to deal with to that of your mum. I did take a decision to call in the police following our care staff becoming very disturbed at the atmosphere in the household and bruising on the lady concerned.

This was drastic I appreciate and her crying to remain with her brother was heartbreaking, but he had tried to strangle her that morning. She was moved to a place of safety. Just terribly sad but my instincts told me I could not put the matter off any longer. The Police had to restrain him when we went into the house.

I am not for a minute saying it is this bad for your mum, but she is calling out for help. She needs to be removed from the household as it sounds like elder abuse. Don't be afraid to upset other family members.

rumbleinthrjungle Thu 13-Nov-14 20:01:55

Yy to involving Social Services asap, she is a vulnerable adult.

I'm so sorry, how utterly horrible. thanks

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