SOS !

#21
:(billy sorry for post, it is from the money super market.com, I am not good at cut and past on my phone? Hope there is something of use:)

One person in the UK develops dementia every three minutes. Yet don't assume relatives can just walk into a bank and access your money, even if it is to pay for your care.
Unless you've a Power of Attorney already, loved ones need to apply through court, which can be long and costly. This guide shows you how to sort it in advance.
In this guide...
What is Lasting Power of Attorney?
Why set one up?
Who is this guide for?
What is mental capacity?
How to make a Power of Attorney
Last chance. £69.50 Which? service code
If they've already lost capacity...
How to help someone manage their money
Become an appointee
Seek non-profit debt help
More help and info
Death happens – plan for it
While every effort's been made to ensure this article's accuracy, it doesn't constitute legal advice tailored to your individual circumstances. If you act on it, you acknowledge that you do so at your own risk. We can't assume responsibility and don't accept liability for any damage or loss which may arise as a result of your reliance upon it. This guide has been written with the kind help of the Alzheimer's Society and Age UK.
What is Lasting Power of Attorney?
Thinking and talking about what would happen if our faculties deserted us is uncomfortable. Yet it's important to consider how much worse the situation would be if you had a stroke, serious accident or dementia (eg, Alzheimer's) without sorting it first.
If someone has difficulties that mean they can't make decisions anymore, they will need help managing their finances. Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document where someone (while they still have mental capacity) nominates a trusted friend or relative to look after their affairs if they lost capacity. The key point to remember ...
Don't think you suddenly give up control. You can choose whether it can be used either before, or only when, you lose mental capacity.
Your representative should only ever make a choice for you if you're unable to make that specific decision at the time it needs to be made. For example, if you fall into a coma, your representative would start looking after your affairs. Yet if you wake from the coma, you should be able to make your own decisions again.
It's worth noting LPAs replaced the previous Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) system. EPAs set up before 1 October 2007 will still be valid, whether or not they have been registered, though they must be registered when the person loses capacity, which costs £110. For more, see the Government's EPA info.
The Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
Mention an LPA and many will automatically think of a person's finances, but there are actually two types to consider: one for finance and property, and another for health and welfare. Because we're MoneySavingExpert, this guide concentrates on the finance and property one although the processes are similar for both.
In a nutshell, the health and welfare document sees a nominated individual make decisions over day-to-day healthcare and medical treatments, as well as deal with any health and social care staff. It's also worth noting these are two separate legal procedures that are independent of one another.
Just because you give the trusted person power of attorney over your health, that doesn't mean they will automatically gain control over your financial affairs and vice versa. If you require the same individual to have power of attorney over both aspects of your care, then you will have to fill out the two forms separately.
Another key difference is that the health and welfare LPA can only be used after the person loses capacity, not before. For more help on setting up a health and welfare LPA see the Government's Health & Welfare LPA info. For those who want to decide any 'advance decisions' – e.g. you don't want certain types of medical treatment in certain situations, if you lose capacity in the future – then you can make a living will.
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Why set up a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If you lose mental capacity, unless you've already filled in the Power of Attorney forms, your loved ones will need to apply through court to become 'deputy', a long and expensive process.
Instead, you can nominate a trusted friend or relative before you lose capacity, by setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). It just means an £110 fee and online application.
You can appoint one or more representatives to act for you, and can determine how they work together to make decisions on your behalf.
You may be thinking "this doesn't affect us, we're perfectly well". This is a common misunderstanding. The key thing to remember is...
You can only set up a Lasting Power of Attorney when you have mental capacity. Once you've lost capacity, it's too late.
The key is to act early. This story from forumite Norma Desmond explains why:
My Mum is deputy (via the Court of Protection) to my Dad, who has advanced dementia. It's a very long, drawn out and quite intrusive process.
It's also expensive. Mum will have to pay hefty yearly fees too. I just wish we'd managed to get Power of Attorney instead, when Dad was more capable. He got ill very fast and we couldn't implement it.
Who is this guide for?
Regardless of health, everyone should consider a Lasting Power of Attorney. Anyone over 18 can set it up – you don't need to be unwell. Charity Age UK says:
There's no specific age when you should consider making a Power of Attorney. Young people can lose capacity through accidents. But if someone is diagnosed with a condition likely to cause loss of capacity, they may be well advised to think about who they want to make decisions for them when they can no longer do so.
The most common conditions this relates to are: stroke, coma, delirium, concussion, severe mental health problems, neuro-disability/brain injury, alcohol and drug misuse, Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
This guide's written with the law in England and Wales in mind. In these countries, the process is overseen by the Office of the Public Guardian. However, much of it also applies to Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In Scotland, there are three Powers of Attorney: one for financial matters, called a Continuing Power of Attorney; one for personal welfare, a Welfare Power of Attorney; and a Combined POA that covers both continuing and welfare, which is the most common. For full details, see the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) and Alzheimer Scotland's Money and Legal Matters guides.
For Northern Ireland see NI Direct's Power of Attorney info.
What is mental capacity?
Every day we make decisions about our lives. The ability to make these decisions is called mental capacity. People may not be able to make decisions some or all of the time, perhaps because they have a learning disability, dementia, brain injury or have had a stroke.
It's important to note that living with a mental health condition (depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc), doesn't necessarily mean someone lacks capacity. If a loved one has a mental health problem, download our stigma-busting Mental Health & Debt help booklet, aimed at sufferers, as well as friends, family and carers.
Who decides if someone has capacity?
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 says a person is unable to make a decision if they can't do one of the following: understand information relevant to a decision; retain that information long enough to make the decision; use or weigh that information; or communicate the decision. Read more on the Act's definition of capacity.
When you make a Power of Attorney, a 'certificate provider' decides if you're capable of making that choice. They can be someone you've known for two years or someone with relevant professional skills such as a doctor, lawyer or social worker.
What to do next
The action to take depends on the situation. We use the word 'they' below for simplicity, but, of course, you can set up a Power of Attorney for yourself as well.
If they still have capacity:
This is the best time to act. If the person still has capacity and would like to make arrangements in case they lose mental capacity, they can set up a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Once submitted, it takes up to ten weeks to register. The power will be effective as soon as the LPA is registered, so the attorney will be able to start making decisions straight away, unless they specify otherwise on the application. See more on this in How to make a Power of Attorney.
If they've lost capacity:
If a spouse, relative or friend already has limited mental capacity (see definition), but didn't set up Power of Attorney in advance, it gets more difficult. You need to become a deputy of the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf. See how to become a deputy.
If they still have capacity, but need help managing money:
In some cases, a friend or relative
 
#22
https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance/how-to-claim

Billy ... Attendance allowance is down to this lot! Telephone: 0345 605 6055 - give them a ring and explain your tale of woe. You will need the old dears Nat Insurance Number as well as date of birth etc and you'll probably have to fill in the claim form but from what I remember they did give me a heads up if I was wasting my time. They can also advise of what other benefits she might be in line for (not just a free gogglebox licence). If she's not got any savings she may be in line for Pension Credits which boosts things a bit. The helpline went through everything with me and helped sort it all out. The other thing is if she doesn't have any savings you can also get dosh towards a funeral when the time comes! (worth remembering).

AA is not included in any income so if she does get awarded it then it doesn't count towards any means testing ... however if she does get it then the local council will be informed so if you do have carers coming in then most of it will go towards supplementing what they are shelling out. They can't take it all but whats left would just about buy a beer and a packet of woodbine's!

Lasting Power of Attorney is also a legal minefield so worth enlisting your friendly local neighborhood solicitor to sort it out and while she's still got her marbles get her to make a will (if she hasn't done one already) . No will .. mucho hassle!
 
#23
Re her having any assets - if she has a house/secret fortune stashed away 'they' can and will take every penny until the pot is down to (Don't know the precise current amount') around 24K. If she is otherwise mentally fittish, get her to sign the house (if she has one) over to you NOW. If she survive 7 years you are home and dry, otherwise,the amount 'they' get works pro-rata.

When my mother was in a care home (Note: in Scotland but most definitely NOT free!) it was 4K a month basic. Every time she went to hospital, most but not all her benefits stopped and had to be re-applied for. So effectively every time you lost the best part of 2 months worth alowances.

So get her to sign for everything! Mne even did (on her own!) a DNR form, but even that has limits, as if she was deemed to be 'suffering', it did not apply.....
 
#24
No house. It was a housing trust bungalow, and the tenancy has been
relinquished. No money - save for what goes into her bank account
each month in state pension. Final bills all paid (gas/electric/phone/
rent etc). I've decided that it's pointless to seek lasting power of attorney
as there are no assets that any family members can scrabble over.
When the time comes - it will be just a case of closing her bank account
and that will be that.
We will know how to proceed once the results of a CT scan are known
(due next Friday), but I'm ploughing on with a request for attendance
allowance.
Oh....and having had a natter with TV licencing - we can now watch
everything for free. My licence has been cancelled as has my quarterly
direct debit and the licence is now in WolfPack seniors name.
Better than a poke in the eye with a shitty stick I suppose.
 
#25
No house. It was a housing trust bungalow, and the tenancy has been
relinquished. No money - save for what goes into her bank account
each month in state pension. Final bills all paid (gas/electric/phone/
rent etc). I've decided that it's pointless to seek lasting power of attorney
as there are no assets that any family members can scrabble over.
When the time comes - it will be just a case of closing her bank account
and that will be that.

We will know how to proceed once the results of a CT scan are known
(due next Friday), but I'm ploughing on with a request for attendance
allowance.
Oh....and having had a natter with TV licencing - we can now watch
everything for free. My licence has been cancelled as has my quarterly
direct debit and the licence is now in WolfPack seniors name.
Better than a poke in the eye with a shitty stick I suppose.
I'd still go for Power of Attorney. My Mum was in a home with no assets and closing her account wasn't as straight forward as you may think, even with Power of Attorney.

In fact she died last September and it's still going on, should all be sorted soon though.
 
#26
I'd still go for Power of Attorney. My Mum was in a home with no assets and closing her account wasn't as straight forward as you may think, even with Power of Attorney.

In fact she died last September and it's still going on, should all be sorted soon though.
Duly noted.

Cheers mate,

Billy
 
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