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Legal & money

Capacity : Practioner

(14 Posts)
whoknows Sun 29-Jul-12 23:19:45

My Father is very elderly, 87, with severe dementure, lives in his own home, with a Full Time carer.

Practically, I should like him to stay in his own home & he is ok with the Full Time Carer, a bit longer, maybe up to 1 year and, in order to achieve that goal, his home really needs some changes made to it, needs downstairs toilet, boiler updated, there is much more that could be done, but let's leave it like that.

I know I need to apply to the Court of Protection to get that to happen, by placing his house into my name, then I can raise a mortgage in my name to raise some funds to get these building works done, however, I need to get a qualified practitioner to testify as to my father's capacity.

Does anyone have a source where I can go to find someone to act as that Practitioner ? Indeed if someone thinks I have to go another way, would love to hear the various options ?

Thanks
Peter

susiecb Mon 30-Jul-12 04:13:20

I would start with the GP.

vampirequeen Mon 30-Jul-12 04:49:36

I agree..GP should be first port of call.

FlicketyB Mon 30-Jul-12 14:54:14

The court of protection are unlikely to allow you to put the house in your own name, even if it is left to you in his will, unless you formally buy it. This is because 1) The will could be challenged after his death and 2) If he needs to sell the house t pay care home fees, if and when they become necessary, if you own the house it could be said that the transfer was done so that he could avoid paying fees and you would be expected to pay them.

You should really consult a solicitor and make sure that he or she specialisies in dealing with mental incapacity problems. You can find this out by ringing and asking them or looking at the companies website. You can also get a list of solicitors who have passed the specific exam to specialise in this area of law from the Law Society, look them up online.

Ella46 Mon 30-Jul-12 18:05:49

I have to say that for an 87 year old, having a lot of building work going on around them, could be quite traumatic and upsetting.

whenim64 Mon 30-Jul-12 18:50:47

I agree with you Ella. My parents were comfortably off and could have lived in luxury by having their house upgraded with all mod cons, but they just didn't want the intrusion of builders coming in. All they would accept was a stair lift and bathroom aids.

whoknows Mon 30-Jul-12 23:02:31

Thanks for your input, its really much appreciated, at times it feels lonely and unsure where to turn, its great to have people who's been there and got valuable experience to add here.

Ok, some more background. I have a sister and the will is split 50/50. My mum has passed away some years now, which coincide with my dads decline.

The building works that are needed here are to have a ground floor toilet, not a massive job, as there is an outside space, it just needs to be done. Not much disturbance to inside of the house due to outside siting. If not done, my Father has to continue going upstairs and he will for sure, not be able to make it soon, or, worse, fall down, he's very unsteady.

The 2nd thing is the boiler has to be replaced, as its 40 years old, and whilst it is still working, it should be condemned for a variety of reasons.

Unfortunately, my sister is unable to assist me financially with the above, additionally she spends minimal time with my dad, perhaps 2 hours a month, she lives 30 minutes drive, she accepts that she don't do much, but insist that this is all she can squeeze in, due to having 3 kids, of ages 9-14. Meanwhile, I am at home with my Father, giving night time and weekend relief to the full time carer, whom I organised, much to the surprise of the Council who told me it was unlikely to work, now it is 6 months, generally ok, but always under strain. Whilst I do not begrudge giving my father happy times and the comfort of his own home, in the twilight of his life, I have nevertheless placed my life on hold, I am a socialite, not a stay at home person, and I am disappointed to find out it ended up like this, where I feel single-handed and isolated and not much useful outside help. Honestly, I would say its grossly unfair that 1 person does a lot, another does very little, but they both have the same outcome, where's the incentive to look after your parent? I fully expect that once he goes into a Home, it will be Out of Sight, Out of Mind and my dad will get even less social interaction than he does now and he craves for the social connection & is key reason why I battle for him.

This is part of the reason why I should like to get the house into my name, so I can do things my way, give him some quality of life, and not be restrained by people who don't put the effort in. When it continues like this, clearly my dad has to go into a Home, as there's a complete impasse. If the house is in my name, then clearly I would be liable for his care costs, I am clear on that ?

I don't want to go via the GP, as it will take too long, my dad has already had his 2 Day Centre days withdrawn for acts of aggression, so his needs are right now. He's been declined from previous Respite Care Home as his needs too much, now my holiday plans may suffer, as I struggle to find somewhere who will take, it further makes me doubt whether this situation is sustainable. Having the funds to get a relief carer, Nursing Home would be a watershed.

Probably I will look up some lawyers who specialise in mental incapacity and take it from there, I wish it would be easier, but this is where we are.

whenim64 Mon 30-Jul-12 23:25:27

I guess you still have some thinking through to do, and whilst your sister might not feel able to assist as much as you, she could feel strongly about your wish to make these changes. Have you discussed them with her? If not, what's preventing you? Your statement 'where's the incentive to look after your parent?' can come across negatively, and you convey the message that you have taken on a task that you now realise is too much for you, unless there's a reward at the end of it. Is that what you meant to say?

Perhaps your father is mentally incapacitated, that needs assessing, and a legal person employed by you might be biased - he needs an assessment by an appropriate professional who can pass on the report to an advocate who is accepted by your father, and even your sister. You should not be acting alone when there are other family members who need to express their view, too, not least your father, if he is able to.

Social Services do have teams who are used to working with challenging behaviour and whilst you feel you want to do things soon because you have holiday plans, it is they and the doctor/health visitor who are used to such circumstances and can navigate the system. Undertakng things unilaterally may backfire on you, so I woud urge you to speak to them so the experts can assess how your father is and what they can do to assist.

whoknows Mon 30-Jul-12 23:36:17

Hi, I have tried to discuss these matters and the response has been "Do what you feel is necessary", if I could get unilateral bind in from everyone I would. However, running such matters by Committee results in procrastination. The Social workers have changed around and the original, who was brilliant, has retired and handed over to a new one who now don't return my calls or emails (including messages for advice on approaching Court of Protection) and this social worker is the one who withdrew the Day Centre facility, for reasonable reasons (my dad aggression) but neither gave me an alternative nor contacted me to let me know, the Day Centre rang me.

I know that if I could organise everything, it would get done and my dad would benefit, when everyone has to have an input, which I agree would be best, no useful progress happens, I am picking up the pieces left right and centre and my capacity for this is worn out, I am at end of tether.

FlicketyB Tue 31-Jul-12 15:56:22

Whenim, It is unlikely that a solicitor will do the asessment of capacity themselves. That should be done by a doctor, probably a GP or even the surgery Community Psychiatric nurse, or better still through a referral to a Memory Clinic

whoknows Sat 04-Aug-12 19:32:38

Well I think then that the GP will sign the form that good, but am still none the wiser how I can safely get a downstairs loo installed for him, which stop him going up the stairs with risk of fall and also repair the boiler, its sporadic so right now there's no hot water, for example, which is not good for an elderly person.

I wanted to pay out and get settled up with my sister, Down the Line, when the house is passed on, but she has declined and I can't afford to pay for everything.

whenim64 Sat 04-Aug-12 20:29:21

Flickety it was whoknows that suggested a lawyer should do a capacity assessment, not me. He doesn't want to use the professionals who are approprate and qualified, which is why I queried his reasoning for this.

whoknows why don't you speak to Age UK? There may be a way to get the necessary work done via social services, or by some other way that Age UK know of. If he needs to go into a nursing home without the boiler and toilet being sorted, perhaps social services could fund it with the surety of a charge on the house?

Annobel Sat 04-Aug-12 20:33:57

Plenty of advice is available from AgeUK (find them in phone book). I think they have outreach workers who will come to visit you and your father if necessary and help you to work out a solution to your problems. Good luck.

Grannyknot Sat 04-Aug-12 21:05:59

The Alzheimer Association's forums are also full of useful info and they're a very helpful bunch forum.alzheimers.org.uk/forumdisplay.php?60-Legal-and-Financial-Issues Good luck.