Court appoints deputy for patient unable to manage her affairs

By Rebecca Adams, Solicitor

The Court of Protection has appointed a deputy to look after the interests of a woman who lacked capacity to manage her property and affairs.

The woman was 71 and prior to becoming ill, had not set up a Lasting Power of Attorney, which would have enabled her to appoint someone in advance to look after her affairs if she became unable to do so herself.

This meant the court had to appoint someone on her behalf.

Many people worry about the management of their affairs should they lose capacity to make decisions for themselves.

One of the best ways to protect yourself in the future is to set up a lasting power of attorney (LPA) now while you still have the relevant capacity. An LPA is a legal document granting authority to a named person or persons to act on your behalf. This allows you to appoint a person you trust to deal with your affairs should you find yourself unable to, due to lack of mental capacity either through illness, accident or injury.

The property and finance LPA allows you to appoint someone to look after your financial affairs and deal with your property on your behalf. You can also grant your attorneys authority to deal with your finances on your behalf even where you have capacity but maybe are unable to do so due to issues with mobility or illness.

The health and welfare LPA grants your appointed attorney authority over such matters as health care and the kind of treatment you receive should you find yourself in need of medical treatment. The doctors will speak to your attorneys as if they were speaking directly to you, allowing your attorneys to continue to promote your wishes if you are unable to. You can also choose whether to allow them to make decisions about life sustaining treatment if you wish.

There are a number of points to consider when making an LPA, such as who to choose as your attorney, how many attorneys to appoint, whether you want to appoint a replacement attorney should your original attorney be unable to act for you, whether you want to restrict the power given to your attorney or add any conditions, whether you wish to provide your attorney with specific guidance and also whether you wish to notify anyone on registration of the LPA. Cartmell Shepherd can assist you with those decisions.

If you would like more information about the issues raised in this article please call today and speak to Rebecca on 01228 514077 or click here to email Rebecca directly.

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