Should someone become mentally incapable of making decisions in relation to their finances or health and welfare they are usually incapable of delegating those responsibilities by way of a Lasting Power of Attorney. In this event, it may be necessary to apply to the Court of Protection to ensure a family member, friend or professional adviser is appointed as Deputy (formally known as a Receiver) to assume that role. We can assist with all aspects of this procedure. We can also act as a professional Deputy if required.
In relation to financial Deputies, there are ongoing duties which involve the preparation of tax returns and yearly accounts, which we can help you with.
If there is a problem in relation to a health or welfare decision and no one is able to reach a decision, you may have to apply to the Court of Protection for them to make the decision. The Court is able to appoint someone as a health and welfare Deputy, but these appointments are rare. The usual position is that the Court will make a specific decision regarding the current issue in contention.
If someone does not have sufficient mental capacity to make a Will, you are able to apply to the Court of Protection for the court to make or amend a Will on that person’s behalf.
Common examples of this would be if someone does not have a Will and has a long-term partner. Without a Will, an unmarried partner would not inherit anything so a Statutory Will can correct this. This is also the case with step-children as only adopted children would receive a share of the estate. Another example would be where someone has a Will but their circumstances have changed either because the size of their estate has diminished, if they have made a gift of their home to someone and the home has been sold to pay for nursing home fees, or they may have fallen out or reconciled, with family members.