I have previously posted about my mother having a serious stroke last week and now that things are sinking in I need some advice - I’m sure many of you have gone through what we are experiencing now.
First of all her mental capacity is severely diminished - I don’t have power of attorney and have read conflicting advice as to whether I should/shouldn’t have one. I have been her sole carer for some time claiming CA and IS. For a start I don’t have the money available to me to set one up. One question - am I going to be obliged to do so and if I can’t what will the consequences for my mother be.
Iam lucky enough to be in a relationship with a lovely lady and will probably be re-locating to be with her permanently very soon.
But I admit at the moment I feel overwhelmed and pretty depressed any advice would be appreciated.
If the person you want to help has lost mental capacity
If someone really can’t manage their own affairs, you can arrange to manage them yourself for them. You’ll usually be carefully monitored to make sure that you’re always acting in the person’s best interests, and you will be restricted with the types of financial decisions you can make – every case is different.
Before you can begin, you need to check if the person really has lost the ability to make their own decisions.
sorry to hear your Mum has had a stroke.
It can be hard following a stroke, to know if someone has diminished mental capacity or if the stroke has affected their communication skills, making them appear to be less mentally capable than they are.
Your Mum needs assessing for mental capacity - preferably by someone used to working with stroke victims. If she is deemed to have sufficient capacity - then you can apply for POA, if she is deemed not to, unfortunately you will have to go the Court of protection route.
If you don’t wish to take on the role of managing her money, the council can do this - BB knows more about this me, I think it is called a Managed Account or similiar. However, I’m not sure whether this just refers to money for care.
If you do decide to set it up, could the costs not be covered by your Mum? Keep careful receipts/records though.
This role could be taken on by a solicitor or accountant, but of course that would cost your Mum money.
I suggest contacting the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or the Carer’s Uk helpline for advice.
This page has information for people who want to manage someone else’s affairs.
Managing someone else’s affairs can mean a number of things, including:
looking after their bank accounts, savings, investments or other financial affairs.
buying and selling property on their behalf.
claiming and spending welfare benefits on their behalf.
deciding where they live.
making decisions about their day-to-day personal care or health care.
You might want to manage someone else’s affairs because they:
are ill or disabled, either temporarily or on a long-term basis.
are out of the country for a while.
are unable to make decisions for themselves, because of mental illness or other reasons.
Geoffrey, does mum own, or rent, her home?
Do you live with her?
Does she have over £23,000 in savings?
Was she in receipt of Attendance Allowance, DLA or PIP?
It is not YOUR money that should fund a POA, but mum’s.
However, for the time being, there is a quick and simple solution with regard to her benefits. Apply to DWP to become her “Appointee”.
Then mum’s money should go into a new account that you should set up, in your name, but solely for mum’s money.
The other alternative is to ask the local authority Client Affairs Team to take charge of her money.
it sounds as if the stroke has badly affected mum. Make sure you read about NHS Continuing Healthcare as soon as you can. IF granted, it would mean free care for the rest of her life, either at home, or in a nursing home.
How old are you?
It’s really VERY important to stay put in mum’s house while she is in hospital, if that’s where you were living. Let us know more and we can explain further.
Geoffrey, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by making hasty decisions when you are stressed.
Do what has to be done on a day by day basis for the next week or two.
After my husband died suddenly, I had a list of things to do, and aimed to sort out one thing a day, that was all I could cope with.
If mum has under £23,000 in savings, and now needs residential care, either Social Services or the NHS will pay some or all of the care home fees.
Will you inherit the house under the trust? You really need to consult a solicitor about the Trust.
If you are 59, I would urge you not to do anything until you are 60, because at that point, different rules apply as far as charging for the home is concerned.
However, you can take some real time off now, and spend relaxed time with your friend.
Just don’t do anything hasty you regret later.
If you know you will inherit the house, that’s one less thing to worry about, so no need for solicitors to consider.
If you are not eating or sleeping, that is not surprising. Go to your GP and get something to help you to relax and sleep. I had some very gentle medication after my husband died. Everything seems worse when you are sleep deprived.
So that leaves sorting out mum’s money situation as one of the other things near the top of the list. To get that ball rolling, just google DWP Appointee and then get the form. It’s an easy process for most people.
My mum had several very long admissions to hospital. She lived about 6 miles away, housebound for many years. I gave her place a good tidy up, throwing away things that she didn’t need any more, like the pile of ancient magazines, junk mail etc.
If possible, go for a short walk every day, you will feel better and it will help you work through the current situation.
I found a book called “Starting Again” by Sarah Litvinoff very helpful, you can find it cheaply on ebay. It will help you find a better path for your future, whatever you decide to do, and is very easy to read.
I’ve heard about dwp appointee but am worried that this may complicate my claim for universal credit etc when I move in with my fiancee. One thing I want to do is try to get her to a nursing home where I will be living in north Wales.
It won’t complicate your claim for UC AS LONG AS THE MONEY GOES INTO A SEPARATE ACCOUNT.
Do not under any circumstances muddle who owns what.
Whilst I understand you want mum near you, that is yet another can of worms, because it involves different local authorities. You must let the existing LA agree to fund her first, this is all quite complicated and you need to talk to the CUK advisors about this. Have you asked mum if she wants to do this, cut off from anyone she knows?
My mum has no living relatives other than myself. When the process for her leaving hospital begins I’ll tell who I have to that I would like her close to where I live but I cant emphasize how hard caring has been these last few years. Maintaining a relationship with my partner has been very difficult. My mother refused all help from social services , i haven’t had a break in many many years. The stress has been unbearable at times.
I have given a lot of thought about this over the new year and for the sake of my health both mental and physical ill have to walk away from all this and let social services handle things entirely.
Thanks for all the advice and I wish you all a happy 2020