Mental capacity is broadly defined by the ability to make decisions in an informed way, in other words understanding what an LPA is and who you should appoint as your attorney. You might wrongly assume that your loved ones will sort things out if and when it becomes necessary.
Lee Young, Wills & Tax partners says, “If you lose mental capacity, maybe through illness or dementia, and don’t have an LPA in place a family member cannot just step in and act on your behalf. They would have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your deputy.” The role of a deputy is similar in many ways to that of an attorney although the powers given are restricted and the costs involved much larger. The fee to be appointed as a deputy can amount to £2,500.
There is also no guarantee that the court would accept who applies to be your deputy and that could mean professionals or even the local authority could be appointed. Your deputy would have access and authority over your bank accounts and financial decisions. This can be very distressing for your family as they would have no say in decisions concerning your finances. Deputies and attorneys can also be appointed to look after your health. Without you making a choice, a professional or local authority official could have say over where you live or the kind of health care you receive.
It makes sense then to have a chat to one of our solicitors and make sure that should ill health strike, your wishes are carried out by a trusted person or persons you have chosen yourself. An LPA can be as broad ranging or limited as you wish. You, and not the courts can stipulate what medical care you would or would not like to receive, where you would like to live and have peace of mind that your finances are being looked after.
We have offices in the Christchurch, New Milton and the New Forest. Our Wills & Tax team also cover Bournemouth and Poole. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Lee or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.