As POA can I get paid from Dad’s pension for mum and dad's care needs?

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I cared for my parents before they went into a care home. They both have different types of late stages dementia. However, now that they are there, I still find I am really out of pocket for all the hours I put in sorting things out for them plus the outings etc.


My question is as a POA am I entitled to withdraw my mum and dad’s pension each month to pay for petrol, running the car which is needed to take them out, buying them clothes, having coffee or meals out, hairdresser appts, podiatry etc etc? The list goes on.


I don’t want to do this if it’s not allowed but I am at breaking point financially as I am a 1950s UK woman whom the Govt decided to withhold my state pension till I am 66. I am only 63 and don’t see how I can get through it. I am exhausted from seeing to them, never mind trying to hold down a job if Ailsa could get one. Any answers gratefully received.

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I'm an Australian lawyer and our law on topics like this is usually identical to UK. It depends on the wording of the Power. Under many if not most Powers of Attorney, the donee of the Power has the legal power to do almost anything, whether it is clearly for the benefit of the donor or not. There are no checks at the time it is done, and it is a major problem with elder abuse when POAs have been given to rogue sons, nieces etc. Fraud litigation to get the money back when it has been taken and spent is a difficult option.

The USA discussion usually seems to be about whether the POA's spending will reduce the assets of the donor to make them eligible for USA Medicaid, which is a completely different issue. There may be regulations along the same lines in the UK, but they are unlikely to be exactly the same as the USA.

However the advice about keeping reasonable records of what you are spending and why is still really sensible, particularly if you take some recompense for the time you are spending. It will help if there are beneficiaries who are expecting more than they eventually get! In fact, if there are other beneficiaries it would probably be a good idea to talk through with them whether paying yourself for time is the best or only option. Perhaps they should have the opportunity to step up to the plate themselves, and raising the option now would help if complaints are possible.

For your peace of mind, it would be good to take a copy of the POA to a lawyer for advice on what it covers. There are options for free advice like this in the UK, so use them now and stop worrying. Best wishes, Margaret.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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We need Country Mouse again. POA in the UK may be different than the US. I would contact the lawyer who wrote up the POA. You shouldn't be out of pocket. I have receipts for personal items I had to buy, Mom loved soup. So I would get it from a local Diner and take it out of her small pension.

Here in the US we have to watch how we POAs spend money. It can effect Medicaid help if we do it wrong. Country Mouse is our in home UK person. You could private message her.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I would be very surprised if you could not use their money to pay for their needs. I would also ask about paying for a meal for yourself, eating out can be expensive and for me, not something i would have done except for my dad. He loved going out to eat.

After you verify that it is allowable, keep all receipts and if needed make little notes. Ie podiatrist visit today so took mom and dad to lunch.

They are blessed to have you adding all of the enrichment activities to their lives.

Hugs for all you do!
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Yes, check with the solicitor, that is your first step.

I do not know UK rules and laws, but I would expect that you can be reimbursed for expenses that are directly related to your parents, clothing, their meals when you take them out, hair etc. I am sure the UK has a mileage rate to cover car expenses when you use it to take your parents out. Here in Canada is it about 52 cents per km.

I doubt very much that you can claim all the car expenses, over and above the mileage used for your parents. It would be a grey area if you paid your meals from your parents funds.

I do not believe you can use your parents pensions for all your living expenses. I know I could not in Canada.

Very important to keep the itemized receipts of any purchases, not just the cc or debit slip (staples them together when you get home).
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Reply to Tothill
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What I do with my Mom (I am also POA) is I keep a running tab where I record money I spend on her behalf, and then I periodically total it up and pay myself back from her bank account. I always save the (now settled) tab, and send a copy to my brother (the only other child, and also POA) so that it is all traceable and above board.

Note that I am not paying myself anything for "time spent" - just reimbursing for money that I have spent on her.
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Reply to trying42
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An agreement drawn up with them - they are both in late stages dementia so not any idea about fainancial affairs or how it is affecting me. They wouldn’t know what was being put in front of them. However, I am Power of Attorney for each of them, so I thought that agreement made when they were if sound mind would be enough. Maybe I should check with their solicitor anyway to keep it in order.
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Reply to Els1eL
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No do not do that. Instead go the legal route and have an agreement drawn up with them. Their attorney may be able to help with that.
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Reply to gladimhere
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