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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25458
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My elderly widowed father (87) is suffering from early dementia

Resolved Question:

My elderly widowed father (87) is suffering from early dementia and as a result has poor judgement and a very poor short term memory. Due to this he has begun to rely heavily on a female friend. Unfortunately the woman concerned is doing her utmost to turn him against his family and cut the family off from any real contact. We do have a Lasting Power of Attorney in Place however, he is taken in by his friend and allows her to make his decisions, (This is a precis of a very complicated situation). The question is, would it be advisable or potentially beneficial to discuss this with a solicitor and secondly what type of solicitor should we be contacting?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask if you have a LPA for health and welfare as well as property and affairs please?

Customer:

Hi,

Customer:

We have an LPA for Property and Affairs and we did have one in place for Health and Welfare however, the lady concerned arranged for the Health and Welfare LPA to be revoked just two months after my father obtained it. She is fortunately unaware of the other LPA.

Joshua :

Thank you. May I ask how she procured a revocation please?

Joshua :

Did your father have capacity at the time of the revocation? Does he have capacity now?

Customer:

She got my father to sign the revocation document and had it witnessed by a friend. I don't know how one defines capacity. Suffice to say that when we asked my father about it he had no recollection of the reason for the revocation or no understanding of the purpose of it. If asked what the LPA was for he would have no idea. Clearly doe to relations we are not in communication with the woman concerned.

Joshua :

Thank you. Were the LPAs signed at a point before he suffered with dementia please?

Customer:

The Property and Affairs LPA was signed in 209 and renewed in 2011 following the death of my mother. The Health and Welfare LAP was signed around a year ago when my father was struggling with memory. This LPA was obtained upon the advice of my fathers financial advisor who was able to explain the benefits in full at the time. I was at the meeting and my father understood this but was clearly unable to retain it.

Joshua :

Thanks. Did he at the time still have lucid moments? Did you obtain a medical assessment?
When he signed the Deed of Revocation, did he had lucid moments still or had his condition deteriorated by then?

Customer:

He has had medical assessments in relation to this which confirm a degenerative condition. He can however, appear generally lucid. His problem is with absorbing and retaining information. Because of this he is vulnerable to manipulation and this is what is happening. The irony is that I don't feel the LPA would be of use currently because he can appear lucid and would resist any involvement by his family due to pride, but this does not prevent this woman from totally controlling his behavior. We have for example received letters allegedly from him which we know there is no way he could have either written or even dictated.

Joshua :

Thanks. Finally what are his care arrangements at present? Is the lady caring for him adequately - have you confirmed for example with his GP on this front?

Customer:

She does appear to be caring for him reasonably well. She appears to be at his house most of the time although he does get left on his own and because of the situation we are not always aware of when this is the case. No, we haven't had any contact with his GP in relation to this.

Joshua :

Thanks.

Joshua :

The first step in my view would be to to register the LPA P&A if you have not already done so. From there contact your fathers various asset holders such as banks and so on in order that you have a picture of his finances can make sure that there is no financial abuse taking place which regretaby though by no means always is the aim of these individuals. Also confirm with the Land Registry that there has been no transfer of your fathers property fraudulently.

Joshua :

In respect of his care consider contacting his GP. He should be prepared to discuss your fathers position with you on a best interests basis. You can in particular ask his GP to comment on the condition of his care arrangements and whether they are adequate.

Joshua :

The lady in question will have very little in the way of rights. Carers and doctors have to take into account the wishes of family and to a lesser extent friends in respect of decisions about welfare for your father in the absence of a valid LPA and in the absence of your father being able to make decisions himself - which from what you say he may still be able to do to some extent. Accordingly even with a H&W LPA you can have input into his care.

Joshua :

If she is caring for him adequately and your father is happy and she is not taking money from him then ultimately there may be nothing you would want to do. It may be a difficult position for you but the primary concern must be your fathers interests rather than anyone elses. You have a right to visit your father unless he does not want you to. She cannot directly prevent this.

Joshua :

It would be as well to consider asking his GP to provide a medical assessment so you have confirmation as to your fathers capacity in terms of being able to make decisions for himself.

Joshua :

If you find that care arrangements are wanting then you can involve social services who can impose a care package or ultimately assist you in moving your father into a home if this were necessary.

Joshua :

You should not need a solicitor for any of the above steps which should enable you to get a much better assessment of your fathers condition and status. Another risk is that the lady may have sought that your father makes a new will in her favour. There is not much you can do about this but this is why a medical assessment would be useful because if following your fathers passing she produces a will in her favour you can use a medial assessment among other things to put aside the will on the grounds of lack of knowledge and approval.

Joshua :

A GP will typically charge somewhere between £70-150 to provide such an assessment

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer:

Could you please just clarify what you mean by registering the LPA?

Joshua :

An LPA is not valid until it has been registered with the office of the public guardian and cannot be used until it has been

Joshua :

If you haven't registered it the forms you need to do so are here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/register-a-lasting-power-of-attorney

Joshua :

Is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer:

No, that is very helpful. Many thanks for your thourough reponse.

Joshua and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you

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