Unless a person has executed an Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney to appoint an Attorney to deal with their financial affairs in the event of them becoming mentally incapable of doing so, no one will have legal authority to act on their behalf.
In these circumstances, it is usually necessary for a trustworthy family member, friend or professional adviser to apply to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputy, who is then authorised to act on behalf of the person lacking mental capacity ("P")
What is involved in making an application to the Court of Protection?
There are a number of forms to be completed which provide the Court with detailed information about P and their financial assets and liabilities as well as about the person seeking to be appointed as a Deputy. The application must be accompanied with a form completed by P's doctor or consultant confirming their mental incapacity together with the prescribed fee (£400 in 2014)
Notice of the application is given to P and certain close family members.
When the Court is satisfied that the person making the application is suitable to act as a Deputy, they will make an Order appointing him to act on P's behalf
What if P is able to make some decisions for himself?
It is sometimes the case that P is unable to deal with complex investments but is able to deal with small sums of money. In these circumstances, the Deputy is under a duty to liaise with P to ensure that wherever possible P is able to make decisions for himself and only when he is unable to make a decision should the Deputy act on his behalf.
How can Goodhand & Forsyth help?
If there are no family members or friends who wish to take on the level of responsibility involved in acting as a Deputy, one of the Partners in this Firm can apply to be appointed in a professional capacity to act on behalf of P.
We are also able to act on behalf of people wishing to apply for their own appointment as a Deputy and can deal with the whole application process for you. Unless the application is opposed or refused, your costs are normally paid out of P's money once the Order is made.
The process can be complicated and stressful and we believe that our experience enables us to relieve some of these pressures by acting on your behalf.
Making arrangements before capacity is lost
Information on Lasting Powers of Attorney is available in our leaflet "Who would look after your financial affairs if you were unable to?"
What are the benefits of using Goodhand & Forsyth?
• Our lawyers have:
- specialist legal qualifications
- many years' experience
- are approachable and sympathetic to your needs
• All our work is insured
• We are able to:
- Advise you on who should apply to be appointed as Deputy
- Apply for a Medical Certificate to confirm mental incapacity
- Prepare the forms required to make an application to the Court of Protection
- Draft the terms of the Order sought
- Advise the Deputy on their role and duties
- Lodge the application with the Court
- Arrange the Insurance Bond that will be required
- Assist in the preparation of the annual report to the Court
If you wish to make an appointment or require further information please contact us on 01737 854914