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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25967
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My mother-in-law has just been diagnosed with vascular dementia

Resolved Question:

My mother-in-law has just been diagnosed with vascular dementia and needs to go into residential care. Previous to this she had refused to make a power of attorney. She has various disabilities and has required constant care over the last 7 years since she was widowed - this has been provided almost exclusively by my wife (the youngest daughter). As a family we have had her around for every Christmas since my father-in-law died, taken her for several holidays and weekends away and my wife has ferried her to numerous hospital and doctor's appointments every month, takes her shopping every week, cuts her grass and cleans and tidies her house as well as sorting out her financial affairs for her. The 2 other siblings have done hardly anything for their mother and in fact rarely visit her. The oldest daughter has now asked about power of attorney. The son who is the middle child constantly tries to borrow money off of people and is a previous bankrupt who we do not want to have power of attorney. The older sister has medical problems and is diagnosed with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) as well as a heart condition and we do not thing medically she would be up to the role. Although we believe that it is possible to have joint power of attorney we feel that my wife should have sole power of attorney in view of all that she has done for her mother plus she knows she would only have her mother's interests at heart as she is not interested in her money. The hospital where my mother-in-law is currently staying prior to going into residential care acknowledge that it is my wife who has almost exclusively dealt with her mother and speak to her regarding advice and questions over her various medical problems. How would my wife go about getting sole power of attorney and could it be contested by the other children? Who decides the power of attorney ultimately as my mother-in-law is now medically incapable?
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 :

Would I be correct to understand that your mother in law no longer has capacity to understand what a power of attorney is an make a decision as to whom she wishes to grant a power of attorney to please or would she still be able to do so?

Customer:

No she would I believe be legally unable to make that decision now as she has a hospital diagnosis for vascular dementia.

Joshua :

Thank you.

Joshua :

On that basis unfortunately if she has not previously made an LPA or EPA power of attorney then it is too late to make a power of attorney. Instead consideration would need to be given to an application for deputyship

Customer:

OK thanks have been looking at that and I feel my wife would be acting in her best interests but if she applied to the courts of protection for this would her brother and sister be able to contest it?

Joshua :

Sorry I just had to take a phone call...This is similar to a POA but rather is granted by a court.

Joshua :

The application fee is £500 which obviously is not cheap but it can be a way of taking more control over your mother in laws care if you are troubled or potentially troubbled by some of the decisions being made on her behalf.

Joshua :

It is not absolutely necessary to apply for deputyship. If no power of attorney for H&W or deputyship order has been granted then decisions in relation to your MIL's care must be made by third parties on a "best interests" basis under the Mental Capacity Act. Third parties could be the local authority, or doctors for example.

Joshua :

If you decide to pursue the application for deputyship, these are the application forms and guidance in order to apply to become your MIL's deputy:

Joshua :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=2899

Customer:

OK thanks so if my wife applied would my brother-in-law and sister-in-law be able to contest is as I have spoken to the courts of protection helpline and understand if they appeal it could involve further costs or would they have to prove she was not acting in her best interests?

Joshua :

Your wife could make an application to become a deputy. Notice must be given to all family members that have a potential interest which would include her siblings.

Joshua :

They can make an application to be given deputyship too and/or object to your wife being appointed. The court will consider evidence any party wishes to submit including their own statements and that of third parties that have relevant knowledge

Customer:

OK thanks for your advice

Joshua :

The court will make an order that it believes is in the best interests of your MIL which may be to appoint one or more of the applicants or none of them at all. Generally a court will favour an applicant that has had greatest contact but this does not rule out other family members. Insolvency issues will however be a significant issue which will count against her brother should he wish to apply.

Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

Customer:

OK will submit a rating for your now many thanks.

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