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Legal News | 26.11.20

The road to the Court of Protection is paved with good intentions ….

The road to the Court of Protection is paved with good intentions ….

Regular readers of our newsletters know that we are all meant to have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) but what happens when a loved one leaves it too late?

Good intentions may well mean that making LPAs is on your “to do” list (if it is, get in touch), but what happens if you lose mental capacity and your “to do” list hasn’t been done?

Once a person loses mental capacity, they are no longer able to make LPAs and, unfortunately, it isn’t the case that family and friends can simply step in and take over.

If a loved one loses capacity without having put in place a valid LPA, and decisions need to be made about that person’s finances or health, a deputyship application must be made to the Court of Protection so that a deputy can be appointed to act on behalf of the person who lacks mental capacity. The preferred order for the appointment of deputies is as follows: spouse or partner, relative, friend or professional advisor (such as a solicitor or panel deputy).

Making an application for a deputyship order can be a complicated process which often takes many months to be completed. While the application is being processed, your family may not be able to access your assets and may have to pay care fees and other costs, including court application fees and security bonds, from their own pocket – these can be reimbursed if and when the deputyship order is approved. It can be a confusing time with potentially more than one application to the Court needed, depending upon the person’s assets and whether they are held solely or jointly.

Once appointed, a deputy will have to produce annual accounts and will remain answerable to the Court of Protection for as long as they remain in the role of deputy.

We understand that if a loved one is losing capacity, you already have enough to contend with so we are here to guide potential deputies through the process of making an application to the Court of Protection. If you would like any further advice regarding deputyship orders or Lasting Powers of Attorney, please get in touch with your usual contact or email us at wealth@wansbroughs.com.


Posted By Our Wills, Tax, Trusts & Probate Team