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Lasting Power of Attorney

(30 Posts)
Lavazza1st Thu 22-Oct-20 20:11:05

A elderly relative phoned me at work to say that I am now responsible for them since I am their POA.

I said I have not signed anything. I would be willing to do it with other siblings, but it needs to be done legally or it isn't legal.

They are insisting that they wrote a cheque and sent it off legally naming me as one of their representatives.

I'm a bit puzzled by this behaviour and unsure how to proceed. Can anyone give me some advice please?

Nonogran Thu 22-Oct-20 20:32:24

There's a lot more to it than that. You have to agree for a start. It's quite a responsibility which you might not want. Sounds a bit suspect so dig a bit deeper. Could it be a scam ...sending off a cheque?? To whom?

Chewbacca Thu 22-Oct-20 20:36:35

Lavazza there are pages and pages of forms to be completed, signed by all parties, witnessed by an independent person and then sent off with payment before any POA is completed. If you've not signed anything, you do it have POA. Sounds as though your relative is confused perhaps.

Lavazza1st Thu 22-Oct-20 20:42:56

I'm actually baffled. They said they had written a cheque to the government for £82 naming me and other siblings as POA.

I don't especially relish the thought of being POA, (I know what it entails as my DH is one for his parents) but if asked I would probably agree if there were others as well.

I just don't know how to proceed, but know something isn't right.

Lavazza1st Thu 22-Oct-20 20:46:43

@Chewbacca I know because I remember my husband doing it for his parents. I was there and my relative was also there as a witness, that's the crazy thing! I mentioned all of the siblings signing and them signing to witness it and they did not seem to remember sad

kittylester Thu 22-Oct-20 20:47:56

Contact the Office of The Public Guardian - they are really helpful.

Narnia Thu 22-Oct-20 20:49:49

We did this for both sets of parents.
We didn't sign anything, but they did and had to get a witness.
I think it's about £8 5 for each aspect, finance and health. It's done via the Gov. Uk website and actually saves a fortune compared to paying a solicitor.
My parents had done one years ago which at the time they weren't told its time limited. So it expired after my Dad died. Solicitor quoted £500+to redo.
So we did it ourselves.

kittylester Thu 22-Oct-20 20:50:10

The link.

Lavazza1st Thu 22-Oct-20 20:54:01

@Narnia My husband has a formal letter for his POA for his parents and has had to use it to deal with affairs for them. I would have thought that if you have POA, you would be notified as my husband was? Yes we did it for husband's parents, so are aware of what's involved.

I'm more troubled that my relative has insisted that I am responsible because they have named me on the form. I cannot see how this is possible and am worried about the motivation for saying this.

Lavazza1st Thu 22-Oct-20 21:03:10

I've been feeling really upset because I don't know if it's
(A) They've been scammed
(B) They are confused or
(C) They want people to think there is a POA in place but have no intention of doing so.

I appreciate everyone for commenting on this as I'm not sure how to proceed.

There can be no possible way that there has been an application made with me as POA as I have just googled and found this: "You, your attorneys and your witnesses will all need to sign the forms before they're submitted" I haven't signed or seen anything. I don't know whether to say anything or let sleeping dogs lie??

kittylester Thu 22-Oct-20 21:30:17


The link.

Try contacting the above.

Lavazza1st Thu 22-Oct-20 22:14:20

I got the link , thanks Kitty. I checked it out and I am not the POA. I have not signed anything, so it's legally impossible.

I want to get to the bottom of why they think I am, though.

tanith Thu 22-Oct-20 22:20:45

Tell your relative that as nothing is signed then there is no POA. Ask to see the paperwork or as others have suggested contact the Office of the Public Guardian who deal with POA.

Lavazza1st Thu 22-Oct-20 22:25:47

@tanith I did , but they are adamant. I even reminded them of when we did it for my inlaws and my in laws, husband and siblings signed and my relative was there and signed as a witness. They did not seem to remember, which I found worrying as it was only a few years ago.

My relative has recently been saying more things lately that don't add up and I don't know what to do when they are so adamant and yet it's obviously not true.

tanith Thu 22-Oct-20 22:38:21

Well you know it’s a fabrication and you are responsible for nothing, unless you suspect they have signs of an illness or a scam then I would let it go.

Lavazza1st Thu 22-Oct-20 22:45:32

It definitely must be a fabrication, tanith. Since I posted this, I spoke to a sibling about something unrelated and found that something else my relative told me is a complete fabrication.

Im a little worried about how elaborate the fabrications are and how real they make them sound. DH suspects dementia, but I have no experience and it's hard to get my head around.

Chewbacca Thu 22-Oct-20 22:48:59

Think your husband might be on to something there Lavazza1, it does sound as though they're quite confused. The question is.... who have they paid a cheque to?

M0nica Thu 22-Oct-20 22:50:48

Whatever happens you have to discuss the issue with them.

1) I think it is reasonable to tell them that appointing someone to take on all this responsibility without first discussing it with you and the others appointed is a little unreasonable, if not illegal, as they do not know whether those people would be able or willing to take on the work.

2) point out that they need to obtain consent from the attorneys, who have to fill in a form and sign it and none of you have received copies of this form.

3)Ask them whether the attorneys have been appointed to act severally or jointly (I will bet a penny to a pound they will not know what you are talking about), but it is important.

If you appoint attorneys severally, it means that one attorney can act as a representative of them all. My sister and I were attorneys for an uncle. When we had to invoke the POA, we agreed I would be the main carer, make decisions, write cheques etc and she would just be back up. If either of us had died, the POA would still be valid as one of us could act on their own.

If you appoint attorney's jointly, all the attorneys have to agree on everything, all have to counter sign cheques and if one dies the POA dies with them. A friend got caught by this. Her father appointed his daughter and her husband as joint attorneys. It never occurred to him that his SiL would predecease him. This caused no end of problems because the death of one of the attorneys meant that the POA was no longer legal. And, as her father by then, had severe dementia, she had to go through the Court of Protection to get POA, a problem she could well have done without.

I can see no alternative to speaking to them directly and I think asking for more details of the POA, when you will receive the form you must complete, how the attorneys will work etc, as described above, is the way to go about it - and if they cannot answer these questions i would kindly, but firmly tell them that you cannot consent to being an attorney.

If you know who the other putative attorneys are and can check whether they are aware of what has been done in their name and whether they are willing, you could all refuse to act until properly consulted, given the forms and had time to consider the issue.

Lavazza1st Thu 22-Oct-20 23:01:29

@Chewbacca I know, right :O

@M0nica thanks for all the info, really helpful! I said points 1,2 and 3 to my relative already, but I was quite concerned about how hazy they seemed on all details. The only thing they seemed clear about was that the cheque was for £82. They did not remember being a witness for my inlaws when they did their POA, either.

When I looked on the government site, it said that normally it takes 10 weeks to process a POA form, but that because of Covid19 it will take considerably longer and that if possible you should apply online. I think I will be waiting for around 12 weeks at least to hear something and possibly never will hear anything.

I will talk to other relatives I think because there have been some very elaborate stories lately, that are blatantly not true. Some of them have been very distressing, like when my relative insisted that a family pet was dead sad

M0nica Thu 22-Oct-20 23:11:23

Lavazza that is difficult, but I seem to remember that the government department handling the POA do themselves write to all the attorneys confirming that they are prepared to act.

Sounds to me as if you relations may already being losing their grasp on reality. The story you tell is reminscent of stories told to me by people with dementia when I worked for Age Concern (as was),

'Delays caused by COVID' are being cited by all kinds of organisations, for which one can see no justification. People may be working from home but their access to work computer systems is unimpeded, so delays should not occur.

In a previous period of stress, the great excuse was 'Don't you know there is a war on?'

Shandy57 Thu 22-Oct-20 23:32:08

You've made me wonder now - my aunt, who is 300 miles away, had two friends as POA. One of them asked to be removed and I offered. My aunt has been to see her solicitor and said I am now her POA - I've not had anything in writing and didn't sign anything. Thanks for bringing this up.

Lavazza1st Thu 22-Oct-20 23:44:50

@M0nica I didn't want to face that it could be dementia, to be honest, but I have been absolutely turned upside down by some of the lies lately. My relative has been absolutely adamant and then the claims have been proved to be quite the opposite.

Even if what they said was true about them posting the POA today, it would still take at least 3 months.

@Shandy57 that's very puzzling too. I wonder how that can be? My relative also mentioned seeing a solicitor but unless we have signed ( and it's been witnessed) it's not legal.

Nansnet Fri 23-Oct-20 06:10:43

Does your relative not have any copies of the documents they completed and signed, which you to ask to take a look at?

I became POA for my father, and I had to complete forms, sign them, and get them witnessed. We kept copies of them all. I then received notification through the post from the government department confirming my appointment as my fathers POA.

Lavazza1st Fri 23-Oct-20 09:02:41

@Nansnet I will ask, thanks for that idea.

I know that is how it's meant to happen. I will see my relative today and attempt to get to the bottom of this.

Shandy57 Fri 23-Oct-20 10:57:35

Morning, I've just phoned my aunt about the POA and apparently her solicitor said the paperwork will take some time as they are working from home.

I've just successfully transferred another chunk of the house sale money to NS&I, I am logging it as I go to keep track of each transaction. Thank you for telling me about it craftyone, when it's all transferred I will be able to relax knowing it's protected. Hopefully will be transferring it to the house sale very soon! I wonder how the FCA decided on the figure of £85K, I am glad to have Martin Lewis's money site to refer to for advice too, I didn't know about 'sister banks' and the sharing of cover.

Enjoy your day smile