Dad has bladder cancer, mum asking about power of attorney

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Hi, wonder if there's any advice / thoughts on this situation.

Dad been diagnosed with locally advanced bladder cancer, he's currently on a rehabilitation ward and due to be discharged soon, probably over the next week or so.  Been treated with palliative radiotherapy.

Plan is for living at home downstairs, with full care package (for now).

Dad is showing signs of moderate dementia - the usual, can remember long term memories, his DoB, but short-term memories are all over the place - can't remember the occupational therapist seeing him earlier that day, is having weird delusional things like I've changed religion, that I've not visited him for years (last week), also that my mum has been having an affair and sold the house etc.

Anyway, my mum was quizzing this and is finally coming around to the reality that dad is showing signs of dementia, but she's concerned about finances.  

House is there own

They DON'T have a joint account (apparently my dad was quite crap with money during their marriage, he used to just give a portion of his wage to my mum and she did all the bills/shopping etc.  She's actually pretty good).

So dad would give mum a portion of his income (pension etc) and mum would sort out the bills, shopping etc.  She has her pension income.  My dad receives carers allowance mum said - but it's paid into his account (sounds a bit weird).

My questions are about mum getting power of attorney, I know that there's 2 sections - for financial and medical, what's the process for this, mum has asked the hospital occupational therapist but she just said 'google it' ... my folks don't even have the internet.

Thanks in advance , very stressful situation

  • Hello @JFK ,

    I’m sorry to hear about you and your parents’ situation but hopefully we can provide some useful information at this difficult time.

    The process for putting a Power of Attorney will depend on where in the UK your parents are based but I will cover the standard process and things to consider for England and Wales (If any different please let us know)

    Before going through the different types of Lasting Power of attorney (LPOA) its important to know that the document would need to be registered before it can be used. The current timescales for doing this are around 20 weeks if there are no mistakes in the original application.

    As you’ve said that your dad has started showing signs of dementia its important to know that its only possible to put a LPOA in place if the person giving authority has the capacity to make their own decisions. A medical professional may be able to give an opinion on this.  If someone doesn’t have the capacity to make their own decision the legal document to take control of their affairs is called a Court of Protection ( this process will involve applying to the court and can take longer than putting LPOA in place)

    You’ve mentioned the 2 different sections which I will cover below:

     

    • Property and Financial Affairs LPA This gives an attorney the power to manage all of the donor’s financial affairs including buying and selling property and investments, running bank and savings accounts and managing tax affairs.

     

    This type of LPA can be used as soon as it’s registered, with the donor’s permission, even if the donor can still make their own decisions.

     

    • Health and Personal Welfare LPA This gives an attorney the power to make decisions about the individual’s welfare, for example; medical treatment and whether they should go into a care home or hospice. This can be a general power covering all decisions or can be restricted to specific areas. In addition to this, the donor may make an Advance Decision – sometimes called a ‘living will’ – this gives legally enforceable instructions about the circumstances in which they would, or would not, wish to receive life-prolonging treatment.

    This type of LPA can only be used when the donor can no longer make their own decisions.

    It’s possible for you and your parents to complete the application process without the need of using a solicitor.

    The forms can be printed off, posted or filled in online. To do so visit the website below:

    https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney/make-lasting-power

    There’s also a useful step by step guide on that website on how to complete forms if required.

    As mentioned before if someone doesn’t have capacity to make their own decisions then it would be up to the Court of Protection to decide if someone else can make decision on their behalf. I have included a link to some information about this https://www.gov.uk/become-deputy/apply-deputy

    If you feel that the LPOA/COP is not applicable because of the timescales its worth considering the option of your mum being added to your dads account as a joint account holder. This process would depend on who the bank account is with but most providers have a specialist area on their website to explain this.

     

    Hopefully this answers your question but feel free to reply back if needed.

     

    If you’d like to speak with us please get in touch on 0808 808 0000 and select option 1, then 2 and then 1 again to get through to our financial guidance team, we are open between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday. 

    The Financial Guidance team also looks at matters such as mortgages, pensions and estate planning. If you feel your friend might need any support in these areas then please do not hesitate to get back in touch.

     

    Kind Regards

     

    Will