When dealing with a loved one’s estate during a stressful time, attempting probate on your own can be risky. Isabelle Gulliver, a Paralegal in WSP Solicitors’ Private Client Department specializing...
‘Awareness of Lasting Powers of Attorney’ is on the increase. People understand that it is preferable to plan now for a point in the future when they cannot manage their own affairs. By planning early you can choose somebody that you trust and who knows you well to manage your affairs when you are no long able to.
There is less awareness of what family and friends can do when a family member has already lost the ability to make decisions about their affairs (this can be known as ‘lacking mental capacity’).
At WSP we are able to advise family and friends on the options available. Those may include “Appointeeship” or “Deputyship”. The route to take will depend on a number of variables including the level and type of a person’s assets and to some extent the impact of their health on their mental state.
Deputyship involves an application to the Court of Protection and a request that the court approves the involvement of the proposed Deputy in dealing with the financial and property affairs (and sometimes the health and welfare decisions) for the person lacking mental capacity. The process can take a number of months and there are steps that need to be taken with the medical profession before the application can be made. One or more Deputies can be appointed and they have a duty to act in the best interest of the person lack capacity.
The Private Client team at WSP Solicitors are available to advise on all of the above options and to talk you through the issues involved and whether it is the correct course of action in the circumstances particular to your situation.
See our page on Caring for People Losing Capacity for further information.