Loss of Mental Capacity
As we see an ever increasing ageing population, this is an important consideration in terms of your life planning. Here are some typical situations and questions with regards to loss of mental capacity.
My mother has been diagnosed with Dementia. What do I do? Is it too late for her to appoint an Attorney?
Court of Protection
Often families contact us too late, and the family member no longer has capacity to put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place. If this is the case a family member can still be appointed to act on a person’s behalf as a Deputy.
What is a Deputy?
A Deputy is someone appointed by the Court of Protection who will take over a person’s affairs. What the Deputy is allowed to do will depend on the Court of Protection, who will issue an order and confirm what the Deputy’s responsibilities will include.
For a Deputy to be appointed an application must be made to the Court of Protection. In brief the application will involve a medical assessment and financial information.
Who can be a Deputy?
A Deputy must be an adult, being at least 18 years of age. As a Deputy cannot be a bankrupt or have become insolvent.
Usually a Deputy would be a close relation of the person who needs assistance. Typically an adult child is appointed. Other important considerations include whether the proposed Deputy live close by, is available to assist and most importantly is happy to act.
I have looked at the forms and am confused. What do I do?
The forms can be complicated and we will advise you what information is needed and guide you through the process. We can advise you on how the system works, prepare the documents and submit the papers.
Once a Deputyship is in place we can assist you with the reorganisation of assets, and in some cases obtain orders for the sale of assets, if required.
My mother has lost capacity, and has not made a Will. Can anything be done?
If no Will is in place we can also assist you. Even if a person has lost mental capacity a Statutory Will can be put into place through the Court.
Early diagnosis, it might not be too late!
Finally, if an elderly parent has just been diagnosed with an illness please contact us. In some cases we will still be able to put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney. If your parent is losing mental capacity, the sooner you act the better as the court procedures can take time.
We have not put in more details about the Court of Protection procedures, as each family may need to apply to the Court for different reasons. Please look at the court’s own website for further details on www.publicguardian.gov.uk.