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when should I register power of attorney?

(12 Posts)
bunnybunyip Sat 08-Aug-09 21:54:04

I have enduring power of attorney for my mum who has dementia. It is not registered yet as she lives alone independently and manages reasonable well with help from family members and direct debits etc to remember to pay bills.
There are a few things that worry me, e.g. she spent thousands of pounds on a new driveway from someone selling door to door. She also gets shaky when using her chip and pin card incase she forgets the number.
Has anyone been in this situation? What made you think it was time to register the power of attorney? I am still not sure practically how it would work once registered, could mum still use her cash cards etc? Any advice would be much appreciated.

daffodill6 Sat 08-Aug-09 22:08:33

Hi BB I have POA for MiL and another 'relative' both of whom are OK atm but wanted to sort things out. MIL's was done years ago and was very simple but the other is quite recent and has had to be registered etc.
As for the difference between the two - only the lawyers have benefited, vastly more expensive ( £300) and time consuming ( 4 months).
We have registered the second one ( didn't need to do MILs) but this relative carries on as before and I only expect it to come into play if she has major problems/deterioration.

So - I guess the Q is what is deterioration?
Do you have PoA over welfare or finance or both?

whomovedmychocolate Sat 08-Aug-09 22:13:02

Personally I think the sooner the better. As long as it is written with very clear conditions of when it takes effect and who will be assessing that those conditions are met (ie is it when her doctors state she is medically incapable or when you/she agrees (would recommend the former obviously)).

It did get substantially more complex last year when they changed the law (or was it the year before - I'm getting old myself!) - anyway, what I suggest is you contact Help the Aged and ask them for advice.

Incidentally, PoA covers both finances and welfare, that's really important to know. It literally means the power to make decisions for someone who is unable to do so for whatever reason.

Also, discuss wills at the same time (sorry to bum you out).

mears Sat 08-Aug-09 22:13:47

Have you spoken to your mum about it?

When my mum got power of attorney it was whne my Dad was deemd of sound mind to agree to it. She also has welfare power of attorney so that she can consent to treatment on his behalf.

RustyBear Sat 08-Aug-09 22:19:00

DH & SIL have joint POA for MIL, and they cannot have a cash card; but DH says this is because there are two of them and they both have to agree to any withdrawal - they have to both sign cheques to get cash.

MIL's was registered because DH & SIL were worried she would do something like the drive thing - she had started having problems remembering what she'd done - she would get cash out & put it somewhere, forget about it & get more.

bunnybunyip Sat 08-Aug-09 22:20:05

I think it is just over finance. It is the old style one (pre 2007 I think) which we did ourselves rather than using a lawyer.
At the moment it would be quite helpful to have online access to her account so I could keep a check that she is not running out of money (she would agree to this but I can't at the moment because she has one of those card reader machines which needs her chip and pin card to use).
I would also like her not to be targeted by door to door salesmen. She also switched her utilities supplier on the doorstep which caused all sorts of confusion until we managed to switch it back.
Luckily she can afford to make some expensive mistakes as she has some savings, but it is hard to get the balance right between not interfering, allowing her independence and doing the best for her.

bunnybunyip Sat 08-Aug-09 22:24:57

Mears: I spoke to my mum. She had forgotten that she had signed the form. Although she accepts her memory isn't good, she has little insight that she is no longer managing her finances well and so she becomes quite defensive. She also thinks she is doing all her finances but in fact it is only with quite a lot of help from the family (but she forgets about this).

RustyBear: do you know what happened once your MIL's was registered? Did it stop her using cheques and cashcard for example? Mum still would need a way of accessing her cash as she lives alone 2 hours drive away from me.

daffodill6 Sat 08-Aug-09 22:37:48

Think it depends on your relationship and levels of trust, My Mil spends a lot of time with other siblings in Europe but I manage her money and her UK home is with us.

I moved her money to savings accounts and then left her with her pension, plus a bit , so that she couldn't be ripped off.

If She tells us she wants something major - we talk about it - if shes got the money - and its not a waste/not good value etc - well it makes her happy - why not?

But you are absolutely correct about ensuring she is not ripped off by others

RustyBear Sat 08-Aug-09 22:50:24

DH says she wouldn't be able to sign cheques, as her account would now effectively be managed by you, with your signature being the only one accepted - but you could presumably give her the cash card (though I don't know what the position would be then if there are any problems, as it would technically be against the bank's rules)

It could be quite difficult for you to manage if you're so far away - we are about the same distance from MIL, but SIL is only a mile away, so she does most of the day to day stuff & sends cheques to DH to sign when she needs to take cash out for MIL (she only signs when they are returned in case they go astray, as they need both signatures)

DH says that a friend of MIL's (who is not quite as affected as MIL) has set up a joint account with her daughter so that both of them can access it and the daughter can see what is going on with it - this seems to work quite well & MIL's friend still has some independence.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 08-Aug-09 22:58:09

some info here

whomovedmychocolate Sat 08-Aug-09 23:01:30

Here is a factsheet aimed to be used by the over 60s to help make decisions

whomovedmychocolate Sat 08-Aug-09 23:02:06

The latter will probably answer all your questions btw

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