I am currently trying to sort out most of my elderly mother’s financial dealings. She is quite badly affected by dementia. Am I able to engage a financial adviser on her behalf and make decisions for her? Does she need to come to any meetings or sign forms to let me do this?
Sarah R from Victoria
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Thank you for your question. It is certainly a difficult time for you and your mum.
You haven’t mentioned however, whether you hold an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) on mum’s behalf.
If you do, you are able to sign and take care of her affairs and make decisions on her behalf.
A financial adviser would need to hold a copy of this document on their files. In this instance, mum does not need to come to any meetings or sign forms.
If mum does not have current EPOA appointing you as her Attorney, and has lost capacity now to make one due to her dementia, you are unable to make decisions on her behalf.
You will need to apply to the ‘Guardianship and Administration Tribunal’ to be appointed as her Guardian.
Once you have these papers, you are able to assist her further and engage with an Adviser on her behalf.
If you have any siblings, it is also best to be able to engage the whole family in this process, although I understand that this is not always possible for various reasons.
Financial advisers are able to engage with and assist you with your mother’s financial affairs, always maintaining that mum is the client in this instance and all decisions will be made in her best interests.
As mum has advanced dementia, I would recommend that you engage an Adviser who is also a specialist in Aged Care.
This is a very specific area and advisers trained in the field of Aged Care can assist with placement into a residential aged care facility, advice or strategy ideas on how to pay the Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP) fees, fund the Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD,) the most advantageous products for mum to be invested in to maximize Centrelink benefits and assisting with putting her affairs in order.
I hope this helps you moving forward with assisting your mum.
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