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Elderly parents

Registration of Enduring Power of Attorney - oh help! :(

15 replies

pookamoo · 08/03/2013 15:07

My dad and I have Enduring Power of Attorney for my grandmother. We are at a stage now where we need to register it, but I can't work out what happens while the registration is pending.

In theory we are supposed to stop using it when we start to suspect she is not capable of managing her financial affairs (i.e. now) and not use it again until it is registered. Apparently that could take 9 weeks.

So how do we pay her bills, carers, food shopping etc during that time? She is very likely to have to move to a care home, which could be a lot of money due up front (I assume?) How do we pay for that? We don't have the money ourselves really to pay large sums upfront and then claim back. Food shops I suppose yes we could do, but the carers' fees etc would be a lot...

Has anyone got any experience of this? Thanks. Smile

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pookamoo · 08/03/2013 16:44


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pippop1 · 08/03/2013 17:07

I don't quite understand. How have you been "using the POA (to pay bills and so on) before it is registered? As far as I am aware, before the POA is activated it is just set up for the future but not actually useable.

Do you mean that you've been asking grandmother to sign cheques to pay bills? That doesn't mean you've been using it, just helping her out administratively. This is what we did with my MIL for a few years. Eventually it was necessary for us to take over completely and this is when you get the POA activated/registered.

Can you get her to sign some cheques before you send it off?

sittinginthesun · 08/03/2013 17:13

Are you using it at the moment? Does it have a restriction saying that it can only be used if registered?

If it doesn't have a restriction, then take a certified copy or show it to the bank before you register it. When it is registered, give the bank the up to date copy.

If it has a restriction in it, just explain to everyone what is happening. I haven't ever known a company take any action whilst you're waiting.

Or, if you pay something out of your own pockets, then keep the receipt and refund yourselves once you get the power back from the OPG.

pookamoo · 08/03/2013 17:16

No - this is an old style EPA which can be used with the donor's consent until the point at which they lose the capacity to handle their own financial affairs. It was made before the LPA came in, in 2007 (which IS the one that has to be registered before it can be used).

My dad and I can sign cheques etc on her behalf. BUT the law says that once you as attorneys believe the donor is no longer able to understand their financial affairs, i.e. give their consent for you to act on their behalf, you have to stop, and register. So you are in limbo until registration which can take 9 weeks.

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amothersplaceisinthewrong · 08/03/2013 17:17

Are EPAs still valid - I thought you needed a Lasting Power of Attorney now.

Can she still sign her name - Can you get her to sign a letter and set up online access to her bank and you run it like that? That's what I have done with my PILS for now.

pookamoo · 08/03/2013 17:21

Thanks sitting that's what we have been doing for the last couple of years, the bank has had the EPA on record since 2007.

The only restriction is the legal one regarding mental capacity which is applicable to all EPAs dated before October 2007. We have to STOP signing cheques, using debit card etc until registration is complete.

We couldn't very well get her to sign blank cheques if we're also saying we doubt her mental capacity.

It's the anticipation of a nursing home deposit fee that is most worrying. Sad

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pookamoo · 08/03/2013 17:22

Yes EPAs are still valid but new ones cannot be made.

OP posts:
sittinginthesun · 08/03/2013 17:23


Old EPA's are still valid, you just can't make a new one.

Don't ask her to sign cheques - personally, I would carry on signing cheques if you have to. If you are not comfortable with this, either explain to everyone and they will understand.

This is exactly why they changed the regime, btw. LPAs are registered at the outset, and there is no difficulty in deciding whether a Donor's capacity is failing or fluctuating.

Who needs paying urgently, btw?

sittinginthesun · 08/03/2013 17:27

Just re- read your OP. Care home is not an issue. Every care home I have ever dealt with understands the delay in sorting finances.

Are the carers a private company?

How is her capacity? Is it failing, or does she still have some understanding? If you can still ask her "shall I get £20 out to buy food?" and she understands, then IMO, you can still use the unregistered power while you are registering it. The rules are clear about this.

pookamoo · 08/03/2013 17:33

Thanks again sitting You sound like you have experience of this?

There's nobody who needs paying urgently just yet. We'll do her weekly food shop for her and just keep the receipts. There is a likelihood she will be moving to residential care, as I said in the OP, and we would presumably be required to make an up front payment for that, and it's likely to be a lot, I'd guess, judging by the weekly fees? I suppose care homes are used to that sort of thing, though, and would be able to advise.

My grandparents both made their LPAs in 2007 so that they would have them to hand and not need to register them if they wanted us to do the odd thing on their behalf while they still had mental capacity. They didn't want the cost of registration before it was absolutely necessary. It's worked perfectly well up to this point, but now that my Grandmother is on her own and showing signs of dementia, we really do need to register.

We'd never get her to sign cheques. It wouldn't be fair - she hasn't signed a cheque for years, my dad has done it for her/my late grandfather, on their instruction, for convenience as their mobility and dexterity has decreased.

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pookamoo · 08/03/2013 17:34

cross-posted :)
Thank you. Yes she would understand that without a problem. I'm sure the carers (yes private company) would also be used to this kind of situation.

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sittinginthesun · 08/03/2013 17:40

Yes, it's my job.Wink

Does she have an LPA as well? If so, The Health and Welfare one should registered ASAP. It will make the care home stuff easier.

The thing about EPAs was the need to register if someone is losing their capacity, but still has some capacity.

Will she be referred through social services (if so, they will do a financial assessment), or private from the outset?

pippop1 · 08/03/2013 18:27

Isn't there some rule about the first 12 weeks in a care home are free for anyone? Or am I getting that wrong (I guess it would be up to a weekly limit).

sittinginthesun · 08/03/2013 19:09

Depends. I don't get involved in that side of things, so don't know the detail. If you are placed via social services, then I believe there is often a trial period.

Do you have social services involved?

pookamoo · 08/03/2013 21:36

Is that to me or pippop? Social services have been involved, but not at present. She has private carers as she used up the time allocated after a hospital stay (re-enablement). My parents are having a case conference with GP, nurse etc, as soon as can be arranged, as some strange things have happened. I don't want to give more details as would probably out me, they were very strange things, but probably not unusual for someone suffering dementia. Sad

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