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Elderly parents

Power of Attorney?

44 replies

jeremyb · 19/06/2013 18:07

My mum has early onset Alzheimers (she's 80), and dad is worried that he won't be able to deal with her finances if she ends up going into hospital or a home.

She gets two pensions, one is from the Irish Government, one's a private pension from work and I think they get a combined OAP pension. She also has a current account in her own name.

Is a power of attorney going to be a good idea, and if so, how does it all work?


OP posts:
jeremyb · 19/06/2013 20:30


OP posts:
CMOTDibbler · 19/06/2013 20:39

A POA is a good idea as you can do the paperwork now, and then it can be activated when necessary. And it doesn't mean that you have to take over, just that you can.

Theres a really clear guide to the process here

louhan · 19/06/2013 20:48


I have it and have had it from the age of 18 as i am a only child at that time mum and dad were well just wanted everything sorted. All you need to do is find a solicitor and it does not cost much around £50.00. my mum died of cancer last year and now my dad has internet banking and me on all the accounts so if anything happends i can get access as power of attony does not always mean you have rights to access money you can just make import decitons. It is a bit of a mind field. I dont know where you live but if you live in linc or notts i reccommend thompsons solicitors at grantham they have been great and dont over charge. infact for all the advice given to us they were very cheap.

good luck

jeremyb · 19/06/2013 20:49

Thanks CMOT, I'll have a look at that. Looks a bit daunting at first glance, do people usually get lawyers to help with the process?

OP posts:
louhan · 19/06/2013 20:50

forgot to say that £50 included getting my name on the house and a couple of other bits as well as helping to get the documents sorted.

ARightOldPickle · 19/06/2013 20:55

I have POA jointly with my sister so that we can look after Mums affairs. She has Dementia now so we are very glad we set them up when we did, we have both the financial and health ones. Did them all ourselves with a good friend of the family being witness and we found no need to involve solicitors as the guidance provided is very thorough.

goodjambadjar · 19/06/2013 20:56

Power of Attorney basically means you can make decisions for the person you have POA for. The person has to sign the form to grant it to you, so if she is lucid, you need to get her to do it straight away. You will need to make sure you have a continuous one so you don't have to top it up every year. You will need to send the original of the doc to EVERY company you plan on dealing with on behalf of your mum / parents, so the pension companies, banks, any stocks and shares she/they might own so as to make things a bit easier.

POA means you can make decisions, but so can she.

Another option, if your mum is too far gone is is Court of Protection, so you have sole responsibility for her affairs.

I'd advise talking to a solicitor in case any of the laws have changed, and they can advise you on the best course of action.

I'm so sorry you're in this situation, it is so hard. My Uncle and Grandad both suffered from Alzheimers, so you have my sympathy.

Good luck, I hope you find a solution that works for you and your family.

jeremyb · 19/06/2013 21:13

Thanks. I'll make an appointment with a solicitor to sort it out. She is usually lucid but sometimes seems away with the fairies a bit! I'll talk to my dad and suggest that she puts him, me and my brother down as attorneys in case he gets ill (he's 84 and quite frail now Sad)

OP posts:
jeremyb · 20/06/2013 11:24

Just been quoted £750 plus VAT, so £900 altogether to get LPAs done for both parents.Shock

OP posts:
Rosa · 20/06/2013 11:27

Try somebody else. It is well worth it for peace of mind

bluehyacinth · 20/06/2013 11:30

There's a mumsnetter on here, mumblechum, who runs her own wills and lpa business. she did our wills and was great, and miles cheaper than local solicitors

// and she has an advert on MN classifeds.

mumblechum1 · 20/06/2013 12:00

(thanks for the headsup bluehyacinth!

OP, as Blue mentioned, I have an advert over on the Small Business section of MN Classifed, titled "5* Will Writing Service Recommended by Mumsnetters".

I would be very happy to deal with your mother's LPA, so long as I am comfortable that she still has capacity to make it. As your dad may also wish to make an LPA, there will be a reduction in the fee to do the two together (for a lot less than you've been quoted Smile)

whataboutbob · 20/06/2013 12:57

Probably repeating others here but I have POA, and without I'd be up s* creek. Dad has alzheimers, he s a widower and now has little grasp of his affairs. I have been forced to step in, which I never would have wanted to have to do, but it s better than watching the wreckage from the sidelines and not being able to do anything. Prior to that when I rang various agencies ( Hmrc, pensions, the council) while they were sympathetic and on an individual level probably believed me, I could do nothing. Now it s like an open sesame that allows me to do what needs to be done.
I did all the paperwork myself to cut costs but as others have said you could get a solicitor. It wasn t that difficult but you have to concentrate because if you fail to follow exactly their instructions, they ll send the whole lot back, and can take months to let you know it isn t right. Good luck.

whataboutbob · 20/06/2013 13:03

Ps just read your post above re 900 pounds for both parents. Ridiculous. I went to the library at work and did it in about 2 hours. But I did make a tiny mistake which slowed things down. Basically the donor ie the parent has to sign on the same day or before the certificate giver ie the GP or other person of reputation who certifies the giver is competent to give POA. Dad signed 2 days after the GP, so they sent it back and the GP kindly signed again,then POA was granted. It cost £130 payable to the Office of the Public Guardian.

mumblechum1 · 20/06/2013 14:43

£900 is an awful lot, but high street solicitors do have a lot of overheads. I can do it for a lot less now that I'm freelance simply because the overheads are a lot less.

It's not rocket science but it is time consuming because you have to spend about an hour taking instructions, then another hour or more drawing up the instrument itself, then get them signed by the donors, attorneys and certificate providers. Then you have to prepare and serve the Notice to the Person to be Notified, complete the registration docs, get them signed and only then can you send them to the OPG, and periodically chase the OPG for progress, then when the LPAs come back, get certified copies sorted out and post everything recorded delivery to the donors.

I normally charge £175, but then that's reduced if I do a pair, or if it's linked to a will.

bizzey · 21/06/2013 11:13

I need to get my head around this POA as posting so I do not loose the thread....but no advice to give sorry !

But having read this thread I think I will do both my parents and not just dad with early Alzheimer's.

Needmoresleep · 21/06/2013 13:30

Guidance here:

I once saw a reference to a charity that does them cheaply but cant find it now.

There are a few things to look out for. I have sole POA which has made banking easier. Banks seem to be some issues specifically relating to having more than one Financial POA.

To some extent it depends on how much money there is. Managing my mother's financial affairs is a significant task, and POA carries with it the responsibility of managing funds actively, with scope to incur criminal liability. The flip side to having sole POA is that there is no one to share decision making with. As a result I regret now that we did not use a lawyer who might have advised on the issues that could come up, so they could have been covered at the time. And which would allow me to have someone to turn to if I wanted advice.

My first instinct was to make things as simple and as easy access as possible, as there is not a pressing need to maximise income. However I now understand that if investment decisions I make impact on the size the eventual estate, there will scope for beneficiaries to sue me.

I did insist that there is a provision for me to charge, which I am pleased about. I have not done so yet but am content that the work I have done so far represents a significant saving on using professionals. It is important to for me to feel that there is scope for compensation should the burden start to feel onerous.

There are other things. Can I give a Christmas present to my mother's carer? She is great. However my mother objects to having carers and sees the world in "old money" terms. As there is no specific provision, I suspect making reasonable gifts to people who have provided real help to my mother, without my mother's agreement, could be seen as a crime. I also don't know if I can now approach a lawyer for advice, perhaps about disposing of some of the more lumpy investments, and have my mother pay. Or, since the advice would be for me as POA, I will need to find the money?

In short signing a POA is a significant step for the Attorney. It is not just about the forms.

Sorry if I have put people off. It needs to be done. I think though that the past few months would have been less scarey if I had had a chance to talk them through.

mumblechum1 · 21/06/2013 16:17

The other thing to remember is that it takes the OPG ages to register LPAs. I received 4 yesterday, two of which were sent for registration in late Jan, two in early Feb.

If those clients had lost capacity while I was waiting for the LPA to come through it would have been a problem, so it is important to deal with them at or, preferably, before, the very earliest signs of Alzheimers etc.

bizzey · 21/06/2013 17:29

From need ,s link I have got some forms coming for dad and mum...looking at about £900 for the 2 of them.

BUT...I saw some POA forms in Smiths today DIY sort......can I not just buy them and send them off to ...???whoever ???

whataboutbob · 21/06/2013 21:35

I don't know that there is such a thing as DIY POA. At the end of the day it has to be done on the Office of the Public Guardian's forms, and registered with them. There is no legally recognised alternative. You can fill them in yourself, or get a lawyer to do it, or use a service such as mumblechum1's. You should not be having to buy forms though as they are sent out for free if you ring the OPG.

mumblechum1 · 22/06/2013 12:32

or get a lawyer to do it, or use a service such as mumblechum1's.

ahem, I am a qualified lawyer Grin

The forms are indeed free to download from the OPG site, so anyone doing a DIY LPA would be wasting their money to pay for the Smiths pack.

bizzey · 22/06/2013 13:36

Thanks ...I got the form today from that link £500 +vat and £130 x 2 for 2x addmin./signing ?...(how much is VAT at the moment ?? Blush )

The smiths pack was £29.99 btw !

Think I have got my head around it now ...just need to word it to my dad "very carefully" !!

My first instinct when POA was metioned to me was "nooo dad is fine with his money...pretty savvy and checks his statements with a fine tooth comb....but there have been a few times we have needed to talk to the bank or other people and he just cannot understand them/accents/press this number for this or that type of thing ..that he has wanted me to do .

I can't at my house so have to go to his it there ...with him in the background saying "yes" just do as my daughter says....but that is inconvienient for both of us.

I am going to do mum as well I think as it will save us £300.

Funny enough she is the one that needs more help with her money !!!

Quick question mumble...If I am POA for both of them ...and dad needed a care home ..say in 10/15 years time would I be able to protect her share of the house and dads that everything did not go to care home ???

Ok maybe I haven't got my head around this POA thing if that is a stupid question !!!


mumblechum1 · 22/06/2013 13:49

Hi Bizzey, regarding your question about whether you could, on one of your parents' behalf, deal with their property to avoid care home fees, well, in theory you can, as long as they haven't put a restriction on the LPA, but in practice, local authorities are very savvy about this now and are likely to apply (and be successful) to set aside any transfers which have clearly been made to avoid care fees.

A better option may be for your parents to make wills in which they only grant one another a life interest in their home. That way, if one of them dies, the other doesn't inherit that person's share (it's held on trust for the benefit, usually, of the children), but if the surviving parent then has to go into a home, at least the LA can only attack that person's share of the value of the property, and the other half still goes to the children. If they did a life interest trust, they'd also have to sever the joint tenancy of their home. I know this may sound complicated, but severing a joint tenancy is a really straightforward job.

If you'd like more info (and btw my charges for the LPAs would be a lot less than you've been quoted!), you could have a look at my advert over on Classifieds>Small Business>5* Will Writing Service Recommended by Mumsnetters.

bizzey · 22/06/2013 14:52

Thanks mumble...Wills were updated a few years ago...and I need to check if the other 1/2 's were given to each other or divided to us (3x children) and then sub divided to the 3 grand children via us children

IE kids ..divorced/separated/married ..we dont know married in Italy but not registered here ?

Me...3 boys...separated ..but no official documents/court order

Bro kids...officially divorced

Need to look at them again...felt uncomfortable doing it with them at the time ...but now think I need to make this watertight ?

Thanks again ....popping over to small buisness's now !!!

bizzey · 22/06/2013 15:01

Thinking about it ....I am sure they passed each other's 1/2 to each other and we just went throug where "us 3 children's bit passed to if we died before them

Ie my share goes straight to my boys( div x3)

Bro 1 share bro2 and my boys(divx5 )

Bro2 share bro1 and my boys (divx5)

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