Thinking Ahead | The Power Of Attorney …

Our blog this week comes from very recent personal experience. Last month my Dad was taken into hospital. His heart is not what it used to be and he had lots of swelling all over his body due to his heart not pumping the fluid round his body properly …

with elderly parents a power of attorney may be a good idea in times of illness

I live in Cornwall and my Parents live in London. Dad lives in managed accommodation and Mum lives in a residential home. I am an only child so when things happen I have to be reactive. A few weeks ago I had a call from the manager where my Dad lives to tell me he was being taken to hospital so I organised my life to travel to London.

Dad wasn’t too bad when I saw him and responding well to his treatment so I travelled back home to Cornwall. A few days later I spoke with Dad on the telephone, he said he was doing well and they were looking at discharging him. The next evening my whole life turned upside down. At 11pm I received a phone call from one of the consultants at the hospital to say Dad had an internal bleed, because of the weakness of his heart they could not operate and if the bleed didn’t stop of its own accord Dad would not make it through the night.

Thankfully the bleed did stop and Dad survived the night. I travelled to see him again. This time he was a bad way and in intensive care. Dad had now been in hospital almost a fortnight and was worried about bills which needed paying. Fortunately a few years ago we set up an Enduring Power of Attorney for Mum and Dad. These had also been registered with their banks.

Dad gave me his bank card to pay the outstanding bills, as I was doing this; the bank stopped his card as they thought it was being used fraudulently. Dad pays all his bills by cheque and I was doing it on the phone so things, in their eyes, didn’t match. I went to Dad’s local branch to speak with them and was asked to call the fraud department, which I did. I explained what had happen with Dad and he was in intensive care they did a few security checks on me and because they already had the Power of Attorney document registered with them and they could see it, everything was fine. The card was reinstated and I could pay Dad’s bills.

This could have been a total nightmare for everyone if we hadn’t had the foresight to set up the Power of Attorney. If you have elderly Parents, chat to them about setting this up. A Solicitor will be happy to help you and to explain everything fully. It’s best to be prepared before a situation like mine occurs.

Thankfully Dad is now recovering from his ordeal, although it was very touch and go for a while.

Until next time …