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Power of attorney(15 Posts)
I want to discuss with my mum the possibility of her getting a poa but not sure how to broach it.
Bit of background ( will try to be as brief as possible)
She is 73 with Parkinson's, no mental impairment yet. Step dad is 76 and getting very forgetful. In her will her house and everything else goes to me and my brother.
Brother is a narc and I am nc with him ( although not SIL and DC's). He sees my mum occasionally and phones but doesn't bother much. DM knows he is unpleasant and doesn't blame me for being nc, although I know it upsets her and although sehe tells me she doesn't like who he has become she tends to brush off his behavious by saying that's just how he is.
Brother has said to me in the past that if DM dies before step dad we need to find a way to get him out of the house so we can sell it and get the money ( I haven't told DM this).
My concern is that if DM needed nursing care and didn't live in her house my brother would try and get step dad out, he would also begrudge any money going towards her care as it would eat into his inheritance. He doesn't need the money by the way, he is just greedy.
As a narc he will not be told what he can and can't do and there would be volcanic eruptions if I tried to protect my mums assets and as he judges everyone by hs standards he would claim I was trying to get all the money for myself - I'm not, I don't need it either. He would be likely to oppose anything I said out of spite as well.
I don't know the details of poa's but I want to be able to make sure that I can make decisions to protect my mum and step dad if she can't make her own choices at any point
I don't want to upset my mum, we have a close relationship but I am worried that at some point I will need to manage her affairs for her and by then it will be too late to get a poa and I will have to fight my brother all the way.
Advice please on how to tackle it with my mum or any other suggestions?
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney - Health and Welfare, and Property and Affairs. You can download the forms from the Office of the Public Guardian website and fill them in yourself - absolutely no need to involve a solicitor which will simply cost you money! (In my former job I taught Mental Capacity Act to health and social care professionals). It is by no means a daunting undertaking and there is a lot of online advice, and downloadable booklets to talk you through the process.
As for how you broach the subject with your mum - is she likely to be upset? LPAs are simply a means of extending your decision-making into a future time when you might not be able to make the decisions in the here and now. Nothing to get upset about. Having said that, it can be hard to actually jump in cold and start talking about money and a possible future when DM might not have the capacity to make her own decisions.
How about downloading a helpful, but factually simple, booklet about LPAs from the internet and just handing it to her and ask her to read it and have a think about it?
BTW - you are right to think about this now whilst your DM still has capacity. I hold an Enduring Power of Attorney for my DF who lives with me. His affairs are a little complex and it would be a total nightmare trying to manage without it. Having to approach the Court of Protection to get a deputy's powers once someone has actually lost their capacity to mange their affairs is extremely long-winded and a total PITA.
I think the best thing to do is talk to your DM and DSF about the future. Older people are often much more sanguine than you think. Get them to think of a few 'what ifs' and practical matters, ask them about how they'd like things to be managed if either of them needed permanent care or if one of them died. I wouldn't involve your brother at this stage if he's not involved day to day. But start the ball rolling, have a few conversations about it and bring up the idea of power of attorney as part of the discussion. Matter of fact stuff.
While a PoA will help while your DM is still alive, it won't once she has died. If your stepfather is still alive and you don't want him to lose his home you should talk to your DM about re-writing her will so he has lifetime occupancy of the house so your brother can't get him kicked out.
So if a couple are married and one dies the other can write a will stating the surviving spouse gets nothing?
I didn't know that!
My mums will does say that DSD can stay there so if she dies 1st he will be ok but if she is in care it might be trickier and I expect my brother could try something.
DSD has only been with my mum since we were adults and although I am find of him, as are DH and our children my brother doesn't like him, I suspect it's mutual by DSD would never say anything.
DSD is very shy and quiet ( suspect Aspergers to be honest) and my brother would totally steam roller him.
Especially useful practical advise from rather . I will look into that but I think to make sure my brothers rather grabby hands are tied it might be best to get a solicitor to at least witness the signatures.
Sorry should have said DM and DSD not married. House in her name only
My only advice would be to do it quickly, sometimes it can take a long time to come through.
In the case of my very ill df, he died before I received the POA, as he was terminal and close to the end.
I know your dm isn't like this but if your db was to start manipulating you will need your POA asap.
Does your stepfather also own a stake in the house (50%, say) and have capital invested in it?
If he does and is on the deeds then does that not help? I don't know how that would stand legally with regard to care home fees, but hopefully they could not take away his home. You could copy your post into legal matters. I had some good advice there.
No, Stepdad has no stake in the house. DM bought it outright and wants to leave it to me and my brother but she doesn't want him to be homeless if She dies first. He has family at the other end of the Country but they aren't close and I think he would rather stay near us as we would visit him etc.
To be honest I'm not too worried about what happens when DM dies, she has a will and apart from a couple of items of sentimental value I wouldn't Much care if I inherited nothing . I'm more concerned about if she needs long term care and as she has Parkinson's it's a possibility.
My FIL had all the paperwork ready and had discussed his wishes with his solicitor before discussing with us. Then when the time came, the solicitor came to the hospital to finalize and it was as simple and easy as it was ever going to be.
Far better to have things discussed and in place years before its needed. It takes much of the emotion out of it.
We're going to a solicitors in the new year to ensure all our finances and wishes are clearly sorted and defined, we're only in our early 40's but having been through ongoing illnesses and death with both my in laws, we firmly believe in sooner is better.
I have just done this for my mother. She is also mid-70s and generally losing the plot (not clear whether mild dementia or Alzheimers). My brother and I just talked it through with her from a purely practical perspective with reassurance that we would always act in her best interests. I think she felt reassured that she would be protected, we were looking after her and managing her finances was something she no longer had to worry about. She is also restricted to one bank card, everything else is done by direct debit to avoid any more summons for lack of payment etc. However I would talk it through with a solicitor as a priority given the potential family complications.
I can reassure you. My mum and step dad are in exactly the same position. House is willed to me and my brother but step dad allowed to live there till he dies. My mum is now in a care home and SS are aware of the situation. The fact that he lives there means that the house is not taken as a financial asset. Therefore your brother is probably financial better off, because if your step dad was not there the house would have to be sold to pay care home fees should the need arise. Get the PoA forms printed and completed, I am sure that your mum trusts you to look after your stepdad and her and all of these things can be discussed and put on a formal basis.
I hold both financial and health and welfare for both of them. I agree with starting the process soon as there are 4 forms altogether. They are easy to complete but very long. They will need to be witnessed by someone who can declare that both your mum and dad are capable of understanding the forms.
Also no matter if he begrudges money for your mums care he cannot do anything about it. SS will see her bank statements and savings and your mums needs will take priority. I would try to get photo copies of all your mum's savings in case your brother tries to take advantage of them as they start to lose the plot. Don't hesitate to pm me if I can help.
Would add that solicitors charge quite a bit for this and if you have read other threads you will see that they often move at a snails pace. We did it ourselves for a few hundred pounds.
Dad had quite a bit in assets so it was important to all that this was done impartially. It was worth the money to him and saved us from having any involvement or being seen as acting in self interest. It's quite an emotional thing and we we'rent drawn into that at all.
Normally I'm all for money saving but the more involved, the more I think it's worth seeking professional help. He combined this with financial planning at the same time with really was a god send as we really didn't have anything too much to worry about and all were assured that dads wishes were being carried out and no self interest involved.
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