Almost all of us will be affected by issues of mental capacity in some way during our lifetimes either as a sufferer, carer, family member or friend.
It goes without saying that individuals want to make decisions for themselves as long as they are able to do so.
One of the most important decisions each of us can make is deciding who will make choices about our care, and the management of our finances for us, when we no longer have the capacity to do so for ourselves.
We advise on the preparation of the key documents that help to protect a person’s financial interests and welfare when they are no longer able to act. In particular, we prepare Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) which specify who will take responsibility for a person’s financial affairs and for their welfare decisions. We also help to prepare Living Wills (Advance Decisions), which set out the circumstances under which a person would not want to receive life-sustaining medical treatment.
In order to be valid, LPAs need to be registered. Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) also need to be registered by the attorney as soon as the donor is becoming mentally incapable of managing their property and affects. We deal with this registration on behalf of our clients to ensure the attorney, or attorneys, have the power to act when they need it.
If no forward planning has taken place and there is a need for someone to deal with a person’s affairs then an application may be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputy to be appointed.
We can also advise on making applications to the Office of the Public Guardian to make Statutory Wills or to remove funds from the Court Funds Office. Also, should a family dispute arise in relation to the actions of an attorney, our Contentious Trusts team is experienced in conducting litigation of this type.
We can also assist lay deputies with the day to day running of the Deputyship by completing the necessary Court of Protection forms and producing deputyship accounts and Tax Returns where needed.