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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34892
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My wife's step uncle has recently been taken into a care home.

Customer Question

My wife's step uncle has recently been taken into a care home. This resulted from his wife being taken into hospital and social services deciding that neither of them was capable of looking after themselves. Both appear to be suffering from early signs of demetia and appear very confused as to what is happening to them.
What is the position regarding care home fees? They own their own flat and we think they have some investments. The care home in which the uncle is staying have asked his nephew (my wife's step brother) if he will contribute to the care home fees but he refused as he is not in a position to do so. The aunt remains in hospital but social services are trying to arrange for her transfer to a care home. Can social services get power of attorney or otherwise get access to their property and investments?
Michael Duerden
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Does anyone hold Power of Attorney for them?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No one holds power of attorney for them. I am concerned that if someone was to obtain power of attorney for them then social services could apply pressure on this person to fund the care.

A few years ago my wife and I were asked by the uncle if we would be executors of their wills and we said yes after some consideration. But the uncle never confirmed this nor did he tell us where copies of the wills could be obtained. Nor did he tell us anything about investments property ownership etc. We did not feel we could press the point and the years rolled on!!

My wife is a STEP niece so not a direct blood relation. However, there is some bad feeling between aunt and uncle and my wife's step brother who is a blood relation.

I feel like I am stepping into a mine field and need to have some facts at my fingertips so judge how best to proceed.

I want to end up by minimising their liability for care home fees and to give them some control over what happens to them. They are very confused but not yet suffering from full dementia so I need to ensure they understand as best as possible what the options are and to make their own decisions as far as possible.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
I am afraid that it is now too late to take any action to protect their assets.
If no other family member is prepared to apply to be appointed as their Deputy (assuming they lack mental capacity to sign powers of attorney) then yes Social Services will take on the role and will deal with their finances.
Their assets will have to be used to fund their Social Care until they drop to the level at which the Local Authority will intervene
Please ask if you need further details