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Lasting Power of Attorney

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator

Hi everyone,

I wonder if you already have a lasting Power of Attorney in place?

It might be a bit of a strange question out of the blue on a Monday morning, but the whole topic's just been brought to mind once again by my sister’s situation. I'd raised the subject with her early after my brother-in-law was diagnosed with dementia and I was worried that he' reach a place when his cognition would decline so that he wasn't capable of handling his financial affairs any longer. My sister promised to look into it, but it is a touchy subject and in the end, she didn't ask him to think about it. Sadly it's turned out that she now needs access to finance to assist in keeping her husband comfortably looked after. And it's unlikely that he'll be considered to legally have the mental capacity to decide on his own.

For most of us it's a really difficult thing to bring up when we're caring for a loved one. No-one likes to think about ever being in this vulnerable position and even the closest of people can become suspicious, (quite rightly), when it's suggested, however gently, that they allow another, nominated person, to handle their affairs, so I think it's far better to think about it early for yourself, and save your loved ones having to raise it with you.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

In short it ensures that, should you be unable to manage your own affairs, the person you have appointed can manage your financial affairs on your behalf. This can save a great deal of money and distress, and will ensure that, as a vulnerable person, your affairs can be handled by someone you personally trust to handle things correctly and quickly.

It's vital, even if you share a joint bank account with the person concerned, as a bank can decide to restrict bank transactions on your accounts to essential transactions only when one of you is mentally incapacitated.

With no Power of Attorney in place the only remedy is to apply to the Court of Protection and have it decide who is going to be granted the necessary access to deal with someone else's affairs. That takes time and is frustrating, and could even result in someone you wouldn't choose to handle your affairs. While it's going on, you may still be liable to pay bills etc. All in all it can make life very worrying and frustrating for those who are caring for you.

Although I was a bit annoyed with my sister for falling into this horrible situation, I did understand that it can be a tricky thing to deal with, and not only that, but I stopped short on realising I still don't have one in place either. Because I’m no spring chicken either, and just because I'm fine this week, it doesn't mean I will be next week, so I'm going to take steps to put this in place right away, so that there won’t be similar difficulties, if, I should become mentally incapacitated.

It’s simple to arrange while you have good mental capacity, and it can give so much peace of mind. It also saves relatives having to raise the touchy subject with you, when it's in place already.

It’s really very easy to find more information about a Lasting Power of Attorney by searching online under that name. Much of the preparation can be completed online. It's really well worth considering seriously.

Photo: Aaron Burden, Unsplash

52 Replies

When my husband died last year I got straight onto doing an LPA for me, not sure why it wasn't down when he did his own but hey ho.

So easy (and cheaper than Solicitors) to do the whole thing online at the Govuk site, fill in the forms, print them and send off with payment, job done.

I'm currently re writing my Will as that's out of date, so my plan is to get everything sorted and easy for my daughters to activate when the time comes.

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to bantam12

Hi bantam12, I can only congratulate you for taking the bull by the horns and getting on with it. It may seem like an uncomfortable step but in the end it can lead to peace of mind all around. Thanks for sharing that with us, and I'm sure it will encourage some of us to get on and do this vital thing.

Lynd profile image
Lynd in reply to Callendersgal

I have had bitter experience of this.I was unable to access my husband accounts for six months.

I had little money as money normally used for bills etc was locked away in his accounts.

The staff at the rehab gave me a lot of help with getting this sorted but it takes a long time.

Having to rely on your children for income is no joke.

DO IT NOW.

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to Lynd

Excellent endorsement Lynd and it's just a shame that it takes a really bad experience to teach us some lessons in life! 👍😊🙏🌈

Hi Callendersgal,

I’ve been reading these posts and there are great but would also like to mention that the citizens advise bureau can/do give so advice that is free too.

sassy59 profile image
sassy59Ambassador in reply to Lynd

Well said Lynd xxx

Thepainterswife profile image
Thepainterswife in reply to Lynd

So glad you posted this Lynd, I’m in exactly that position , most of our money is in my husbands accounts and I do worry what would happen if he died . I have tried to broach the subject but he is reluctant do discuss it , even though he is very sick and was in intensive care and pulled back from the brink last year. Having read your post I will try again , thank you x

Heavens thats not a good situation, if you have no plans in place you could be in a very difficult position if the worst happens because you won't be able to access any of his accounts.

My late husbands health was dire and there had been several close calls so he got everything sorted and ready to be activated as soon as he popped off.

One thing we did was to open a new cash ISA with enough money in to keep me going while the finances were signed over to me, as we had everything in place it didn't take long so I didn't need to use the money but it's there should I need a lump for anything in the future.

I tell you it's a nightmare sorting stuff out even if you do have everything in place so I dread to think of the process if you haven't, hard as it may be your husband really needs to think about it for your sake. Good luck.

You’re right I know , I do have a small amount in my own account , about enough to see me through about one month and we have both made wills but I think I need to get him to give me his bank account details - I have no idea what accounts he has 🤦🏻‍♀️ We ve been married 50 years in September so I don’t think I’ll be running off with his savings 😂

Unless you are named on his accts I don't think you will have access to them, probably a good idea to get advice from the bank. We had joint accts so wasn't an issue for me and his private pension was also set up ready to be transferred to me but even so the transfer took several weeks. It's a bit of a minefield !

Yes I definitely need to get things in order . Thanks for the advice 😊

sassy59 profile image
sassy59Ambassador in reply to bantam12

That’s good bantam12 getting everything organised. It does make things easier. Xxxx

Josie-Anne profile image
Josie-Anne in reply to bantam12

Hi bantam12,

Yes it was well worth talking about and sharing, I had an experience with a friend who thought me as a daughter as he didn’t have any children and I looked up to him as an adopted father as all my family lived across, every time he took ill and was in hospital the family (niece and nephews) would come in to see him and blank me but when it was time for him to come out and needed looking after they were nowhere to be found. One day he told me to write everything down which I now knew were his last wishes because he knew I would carry them out because all his family wanted was his money, he put me down as next of kin and made me power of attorney which they tried to overturn. I looked after my adopted father right through to the end and it was true but sad, they didn’t even want his ashes but his wish were for them to be scattered in the garden of remembrance where his wife’s were. Please do as soon as you can and also write down your last wishes as you don’t want to leave them in the wrong hands 🙌

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to Josie-Anne

I think you meant to reply to someone else as I've already done my LPA and updated my Will.

sassy59 profile image
sassy59Ambassador in reply to Josie-Anne

Your adopted father was lucky to have you to show such care and concern Josie-Anne. You did a wonderful thing for him. Xxx

Josie-Anne profile image
Josie-Anne in reply to sassy59

Thanks sassy59, it’s been over 4 years now I miss him so much but know he’s around me ❤️

sassy59 profile image
sassy59Ambassador in reply to Josie-Anne

💖💜❤️🤗

sassy59 profile image
sassy59Ambassador

Hi Callendersgal,

What a great post and LPA is often something people don’t think about until it’s too late.

It was brought to our attention when my late mother-in-law hadn’t been diagnosed with dementia but was on the cusp. She was able to understand what was happening so we got it done thank goodness. Pete and I also have an LPA in place.

We’ve been speaking to our son-in-law about that because his mother is undergoing tests for dementia too. She has a partner but he’s living with a rare cancer so who knows what will happen there.

People do often put things off as they think there’s lots of time or they’re simply in some form of denial. I do feel for your sister though as she’s been through so much already so maybe an LPA was too much to deal with. I hope things work out for her anyway.

Thank you once again for a great post. Take care. Xxxx👍💖

Catgirl1976 profile image
Catgirl1976 in reply to sassy59

It's better to do things like make wills and soon as you can as tomorrow isn't guaranteed to anyone.

sassy59 profile image
sassy59Ambassador in reply to Catgirl1976

Very true Catgirl xx

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to sassy59

I do remember the case of your late mum-in-law sassy59 who you mentioned to us several times while you were going through this. And thanks for mentioning thinking we all have time. That's practically my mantra for all things when urging people to get on with things, and yet here I am, having urged everyone else to do it, having not done it myself. It's really vital to get on with it, without a doubt! 👍🌈🌸😊 xxx

sassy59 profile image
sassy59Ambassador in reply to Callendersgal

I’m sure you’ll sort things out very soon. 👍💖🤗🥰xxx

Hidden profile image
Hidden

Thank you Sue so much for sharing this. It's something I've not thought about so will definitely look at it now.

I've also mentioned to my, very stubborn, husband that we ought to sort out a plan for our funerals. My mum bought a funeral plan with the Co-op and I have to say it took a lot of angst away from me. She died very suddenly right in front of me, my youngest daughter, son in law and my sister with no illness. I had to do all the sorting out with her property as my sister wasn't very kind to our mum. If I'd had the funeral to sort out then that would have been more worry and stress on my. My husband was very good in helping and supporting.

I know it's not cheerful subject but it's definitely one that needs to be discussed.

Thank you so much for the post.

Alicia🙏

sassy59 profile image
sassy59Ambassador in reply to Hidden

It’s a good idea to have a funeral plan Alicia. Pete and I have that too. We’ve tried to make things easier for our family. Sorry to hear about your mum but she was right to sort things out.

Take care xxx👍

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to sassy59

It really is sassy, I couldn't agree more. I spoke to hubby about it again today and I will bring him round to the idea. I want to save our girls and granddaughters any problems.

Thank you and she was definitely right.

Take care as well.

Alicia xx 😘

sassy59 profile image
sassy59Ambassador in reply to Hidden

👍😘 xxx

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to sassy59

🌈🌺🤗😘 xxx

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to Hidden

It's so easy to be persuaded to put things like this off, isn't it Alicia. It's a subject none of us like to discuss but it's so important. I feel very silly for urging so many other people to get on with it, and not doing it myself, but I'm going to remedy that as soon as possible! You certainly had a short, sharp shock with your mum, and an experience like that brings the practical needs into sharp focus! 👍😊🙏

Ive never been in a power of attorney situation

Hi Sue, done the same myself with my will just in case, we call it a executor the named persons sort out the will and the person who is left behind who might need the help with things and it does save time and money. Clive X 🤗

Hi littleboy Lasting Power of Attorney is different than a will it helps someone make the decisions u want if u are unable to do so ie through illness or something of that nature a will is what u want to leave to whoever i think.

Hi Smith, I thought they were the same as I have a executor to my will when anything happens to me to help my next of kin make decisions and manage other things

Yes thats correct u have an executor for yr will that deals with everything but LPA is put in place while u are living if there comes to a point where u no longer can make yr own decisions do look into at one point if u were certain benefits u could have a LPA wrote up it pays to hunt around though.

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to Crystal-ice

It is much cheaper at £82 to do an LPA on the Govuk site, if it's done through a Solicitor or other online site it will cost a lot more.

Reading all these replies brother, sister and myself are going to go through it over time

Mum appointed sister power of attorney for her money as she was the best one to access mum's bank account for bills etc, this was done before the dementia set in.

We lost mum a year ago, when she was, alive the council couldn't send us a bill, care was council funded with a top up from mum, when she died suddenly the council could send us a 6 figure bill!!!!

Sister sent it to the ombudsman to look into it and, hopefully, reduce it, we've never refused to pay, so we're still waiting for that to be processed.

The 3 of us are Executors of her Will when we eventually get to open it, when that's sorted, assuming no one has taken the family home in payment for care home fees, brother and sister will have to find the money to cover my third share in a house I don't want to live in. So I think my inheritance will not be coming for about another 2/3 years

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to Jennymary

That’s really tough Jennymary. After doing all the right things it’s just awful to have this situation. That overhaul of social care is well overdue! Everything is so slow and ponderous as well as unfair. I feel for you all. It’s hard enough losing a loved one without all of this!

The worst thing is if my sister rang the council they'd say, there's an outstanding balance of............ But they couldn't or wouldn't email or post the bill to us, so they were able to see the amount in a computer screen, but couldn't take it any further

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to Jennymary

That's really disgraceful Jennymary! It doesn't sound right at all!

sassy59 profile image
sassy59Ambassador in reply to Jennymary

What a total nightmare for all of you. It sounds horrendous and incredibly slow moving. I don’t feel there will be a speedy solution to this. It doesn’t seem right though. Thinking of you all. Xxxx

My friend’s husband rapidly deteriorated with Alzheimer’s and she had to go through all kinds of legalities with the Court of Protection to access his finances when he was placed in care before he sadly passed away. When she told me about LPA five years ago and all the problems she faced at a sad time, I discussed it with my family. How grateful I was as my sister’s health deteriorated rapidly over the past few years and I deal with all her bills, finances and care because the first thing you are asked is “do you have LPOA? If so, send us a copy!” Otherwise, you just hit brick walls due to the Data Protection Act.

My husband and I also have LPOAs and my son has a copy of our last wishes and Wills. I did all these documents myself on my laptop and printed them out myself as it is much cheaper than going to a solicitor but does take time. There’s lots of easy guidelines online.

During this horrific year I cannot count how many times I have had to make decisions on my sister’s behalf but I was always asked for evidence even at the hospitals. We all have two each LPA for Finance and LPA for Welfare both totally separate! I would advise everyone to complete these two important documents as early as possible regardless of age as you don’t know what could happen unexpectedly.

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to Goldenanny

There are some real horror stories out there Goldenanny, and it's definitely better to avoid the stress of the Court of Protection, when it isn't necessary, so long as you do that sensible thing and get a Power of Attorney. And you are right that since the advent of the Data Protection Act, it's so easy to keep coming up against brick walls when trying to obtain sometimes vital information. We all think we have time, and as sassy59 pointed out, that's sadly so often not the case. I'm glad that you have everything in place to help you with decisions to do with your sister. It does make things bearable at a time when everything else can be so bleak. Thank you for your input! 🙏😊👍

Unbeknown to me (an only child) as soon as my father passed away my mum made a new Will and organised a PoA (it was 20+ years ago) before LPAs. She sadly went on to develop vascular dementia. Whilst she still had mental capacity she gave me a copy of her Will and told me about the PoA. We went to her solicitor and she signed it over, several copies were made. I took over complete responsibility for everything and boy it made life so much easier for me in already difficult times. She had this awful disease for 12 years. She’d also made me Executor of her Will in order to avoid legal fees. In order to avoid more stress for your loved ones following your demise I would seriously recommend organising a LPA and a watertight Will. In order to save what could be thousands of pounds also consider making two responsible loved ones your Executors.

How does having Executors avoid legal fees ? My 3 daughters are all executors on my Will but there will still be legal fees to pay when the time comes.

If your solicitor executes your Will they will charge their fees (sometimes a percentage of the Estate) on top of the court fees

But if probate is need then there will be fees no matter who does it. I have appointed my daughters plus an Estate team from my financial advisors company as that works out the cheapest option, although difficult to predict the future !

When my husband died I didn't need probate and did everything myself so didn't cost me anything but not as simple when I pop my clogs.

Solicitors charge ridiculous fees, to rewrite my very simple Will, doesn't even cover one page ! it cost me £360 but after shopping around it was simpler to go with my Solicitor who I've been with for years.

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator

That's really sage advice ChilledoutNana, and there's nothing like going through a situation to teach yourself how how important things like this are.

Exactly! Both of my parents were so switched on and they certainly didn’t want their estate, which they’d both so hard for, being eaten into with unnecessary legal fees. It did help that I was savvy with Estates, Wills etc from my past.

I have a lasting power of Attorney & an advanced directive , it pays to do it early because no one knows what tommorrow holds . With an advanced directive they have to tell you if theres nothing more can be done. I also have a will with an estate package so when I die the estate is dealt with for my executors. This was of course due to my family not living near by. These are all options that people need to consider according to their circumstances.

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to katieoxo60

Hi Katieoxo60. Good to hear from you. I'm so pleased to hear that you and so many other sensible members of the community have done what needs to be done, and I feel very silly for not having already completed this for myself. It's just been through thoughtlessness really and it was a real light bulb moment when I talked with my sister about her not having done this, I realised I hadn't either! I shall remedy this without delay! 🙏

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to katieoxo60

I have also gone with an Estate team to deal with everything so it isn't left to my daughters (who are also Executors) so all they will have to do is pick up the phone and tell the team to get on with it.

katieoxo60 profile image
katieoxo60 in reply to bantam12

Thats the way I like it to, only have to get a solicitor for the house sale if necessary at a time when people are upset.

agreed!

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