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  • 22 May 2018

    Making decisions and managing affairs when a loved one has lost mental capacity.

    If a loved one has dementia and has lost the mental capacity to manage their affairs it can be a very worrying time. You might be wondering what measures you can put in place to help make ongoing decisions. 

    Andrea Beesley-Hewitt, a Court of Protection specialist at Hegarty answers common questions and explains more about the Court of Protection.

    My father has dementia, can he make a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney?

    Only if he has capacity to do so. If not, you will require a Court of Protection application.

    What is the Court of Protection?

    The Court of Protection is the specialist Court which has the power to make decisions and appoint Deputies to make on-going decisions, in relation to the Property & Financial Affairs, or Health & Welfare, of those who are mentally incapable and have not previously signed a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA).

    When should I make an Application to the Court?

    Applications should be made for the following reasons:

    • If decisions need to be made and cannot be postponed
    • The person who you are concerned about lacks capacity to make decisions for themselves
    • There is no valid Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney.

    Who can act as a Deputy?

    Anyone over the age of 18 years can apply to be appointed as a Deputy. The Deputy is usually a relative or a close friend of the person who lacks capacity, but a professional such as a solicitor can also act as a Deputy if required. Appointing a professional Deputy ensures that there is somebody on your side who fully understands the legal procedures.

    Is a solicitor needed to submit a Deputyship Application?

    A solicitor can make an application on your behalf, but this is not essential. Guidance is available on www.gov.uk or by contacting the Court staff who will be able to assist you with general queries and provide basic guidance. The Court cannot provide any legal advice or services, and so many people find the assistance of a solicitor helpful when making a Deputyship Application. 

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