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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34281
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I became my sisters appointee after my mother passed away.

Customer Question

I became my sister's appointee after my mother passed away. My sister has learning difficulties and is unable to manage her own affairs. Her income is her benefits. My sister does not live with me but in a care home. Whilst my mother was in hospital my sister had to go into alternative accommodation which her local council handled. Due to lack of space they placed my sister in respite home which cost considerably more than a normal care home. This was 3/4 years ago now. The council have sent me a outstanding invoice which they require to be paid for such respite care. It is addressed to me as appointee for my sister. They say that if the invoice is not paid they will instruct debt recovery agents, issue proceedings and claim costs and interest. Do I/we have any defence or should I offer on behalf of my sister, a minimum amount each month to repay the debt?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to assist you but I need some further information first.
Please confirm - just for certainty - that your sister has no savings or assets
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have checked and my sister has approximately £10,000 in her building society. She has no other assets.


 


Regards


 


Christine Melillo

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
How much is the debt?
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Approx £4000

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
Did your sister (or your mother) receive any extra benefits for that period?
Was a claim made at all?
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My recollection is that Ann received her disability living allowance during this period but no other claims were made for benefit during the time she was at the home. My mother used to get attendance allowance which stopped when she passed away. Ann may have also received housing benefit which went towards part payment for her stay at the home but as the home was considered private, the extra cost they are saying should be paid by my sister.


 


Christine


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
What is their explanation for the delayed request?
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No explanation - they just me an outstanding invoice notification requesting payment followed by a letter saying that non-payment would lead to possible proceedings via agents


 


Chris

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
It is certainly worth a formal request for an explanation of the delay - and also for an explanation of what the responsibility of the Authority at the time with regard to her care.
It may also be worth contacting the Charity Mind
http://www.mind.org.uk/campaigns_and_issues/policy_and_issues/making_benefits_fairer-welfare_reform
to check the situation.
If you do not wish to fight this then I woudl indeed you suggest a monthly payment which reflects her current income and expenses
I hope that this is of assistance
Claire