Kristel Clarke, a Solicitor in the Private Client team at FDR Law advises that Lasting Powers of Attorney or LPA’s are very useful documents which you can make while you have capacity to appoint people to act for you if you lose capacity.
Your chosen attorneys will act in your best interests if you can no longer make decisions for yourself. You can have more than one attorney and can appoint them in different ways. There are two types – one for Property and Finances and one for Health and Welfare Decisions. There is generally no ongoing supervision or Court involvement.
But what if you haven’t made a Lasting Power of Attorney? What if the loss of capacity was sudden before you had the chance to make a Lasting Power of Attorney? Who can access your bank and investments and pay bills for you? Who can make decisions about your welfare?
If you lose capacity without appointing attorneys, the Court of Protection can appoint a Deputy to look after your property and financial affairs. The Court can appoint a family member or friend but in some instances a professional is required.
Applying to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy can be complex. As part of the process interested people such as close friends and family must be notified of the application so that they have a right to respond. Medical evidence is required to prove to the Court that the person has lost capacity. If the application is successful the Court will make an order outlining the Deputy’s rights and responsibilities.
Once appointed, the Deputy must submit an annul report to the Court detailing all income and expenditure such as paying bills, investment decisions, purchases etc. The Deputy will be supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian and may also be visited by a representative from the Court of Protection from time to time to ensure that they are carrying out their role and duties properly.
Applying to the Court of Protection can be a complicated and daunting. We can support you through the process and make it as easy as possible. We can also make the application on your behalf and act as Deputy if required. We have two Solicitors at FDR Law who are currently appointed as Deputies and who manage clients’ property and financial affairs.
If you would like more advice about this, please contact Kristel or any of the Private Client Team at FDR Law for a free initial consultation on 01925 230 000.