Power of Attorney

  the hick 12:23 14 Nov 2009

I have two elderley relatives for whom I shall probably have to arrange power of attorney. A search reveals many sites on this matter, but I wondered if anyone here had any recent experience of such matters, or could perhaps suggest websites with good advice? I believe the laws changed recently on this as well. I assume that a solicitor will be involved at some stage? Since I have not previously done this, any advice would be very much appreciated.

  wiz-king 14:02 14 Nov 2009

My advise is threefold.

1) Start now while they are both 'compos mentis' of sound mind.

2) Contact a soliciter who specializes in family law.

3) Get both of them to make wills, even if they are husband and wife.

To help you with No 1, find out where they keep all the bills, insurances and any other documents you require. I was lucky in that my mother in law kept very good houshold accounts going back years in two large suitcases so when she moved from sheltered accomodation into a nursing home we kept them and she just collected all the bills etc and gave them to us and we took care of them.

  Pamy 15:02 14 Nov 2009
  johndrew 16:02 14 Nov 2009

I agree with wiz-king. You will need a solicitor to achieve Power of Attorney for them anyway so start by finding a good one, locally if possible, then get the other parts sorted.

Remember, if you are to be a beneficiary in their wills you cannot be a witness so a solicitor is almost essential for this especially if the Power of Attorney is soley in your name.

You should also consider what happens if you are the only one with Power of Attorney and you become incapacitated (short or long term) for any reason.

  the hick 16:33 14 Nov 2009

Thankyou all for the replies, yes I thought a solicitor was needed, I shall call them soon. johndrew, good point on me being incapacitated, I hadn't thought of that, so shall talk to brother, he will probably 'volunteer'.

  Spark6 19:04 14 Nov 2009

More info on this subject: click here

  Forum Editor 23:22 14 Nov 2009

with a very close family member. There are two kinds of power of attorney:-

1. A Lasting power of Attorney can be arranged quite easily by the person who is called the donor, the elderly relative in your case. The LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, who will make sure that the interests of the donor are protected.

2. An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) should only be registered if you think the donor is becoming, or has become mentally incapable of handling his or her personal affairs. In this case you register the EPA with the Office of the Public Guardian.

In neither case it is essential or even necessary for a solicitor to become involved - it can all be handled by the people concerned. You can download the necessary forms, and get all the information you need if you click here

  The Mountaineer 20:29 15 Nov 2009

Something else to start thinking about ..... once you have POA what do you DO with it? For example I was granted POA on my mum's affairs some years back but only recently have had to apply it to her bank account, her post office account, her pensions, tax office, investments, etc etc. In the last couple of weeks she has decided to stay in a residential home for good after a few weeks respite care and I'm now doing the rounds again to finalise her transfer from the previous accommodation. Most has gone smoothly except for a major cock up from Barclays when I first took control of her account, they sent a bank card and pin number to HER address instead of mine ..... and luckily I found them in the bin before it was emptied! So, my extra advice is to plan carefully what you take control over and how you do it.

  Simsy 21:25 15 Nov 2009

The two kinds that FE refers to, there are also two types of responsibilities, that require different actions. I can't remember the terminology but, basically, they are about;

1) Taking care of the person's finances.
2) Taking care of the person's helath.

The relevant documentation can be prepared in advance, but doesn't have to be registered with the Public Guardian until it becomes necessary.

(I researched this a couple of years ago, but the person concerned died before I had to enact it so disn't see the process through to the end.)

An important thing to realise is that it is the person who has the needs that applies to give the powers to someone else, and signs the relevant forms... You don't apply to look after someone else's affairs.

I wish you well.



  Al94 22:00 15 Nov 2009

I have considerable experience of this as a grantee of a power of attorney re my mother who has alzheimers and is in a care home. Funny thing is that after the EPA was registered, the only institution out of many banks, share registrars, fund managers etc that I had any problem with was Barclays who seem to have no understanding of how PoA's work. Currently subject of a formal complaint which I have been told they will resolve by 25 November. This has been running since June of this year. They have been outstandingly useless so far and are at total variance with every one else who have accepted a registered EPA so The Mountaineer has my sympathy.

Simsy is totally right in his posting, in addition, The Mental Capacity Act replaces Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) with a new and different type of power of attorney called a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which as he says comprises two different types. FE confuses the issue as for new PoA's there is now only the Lasting Power of Attorney as Enduring Power of Attorneys are no longer put in place for new cases. Pre existing EPA's can be registered when the donor has become incapacitated. Personally, I would advise involving a solicitor to ensure that all parties involved are fully protected.

  Forum Editor 23:01 15 Nov 2009

"You don't apply to look after someone else's affairs."

That's not quite correct. You are the one who should register the EPA with the Office of the Public Guardian if you think the donor is becoming, or has become mentally incapable of handling his or her personal affairs.

A person may register a Lasting power of attorney while he or she is able to do so, or the Attorney (you) can apply to register the LPA at any time.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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