If a close friend or family member has no Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney in place and they lose mental capacity then a legal difficulty arises in anyone else being able to deal with their financial and other affairs for them.
The loss of mental capacity could occur suddenly due to a stroke or gradually over a period of time such that it may be too late to make a power of attorney when it is realised that mental capacity has finally been lost. In such circumstances an application has to be made to the Court of Protection so that a ‘Deputy’ can be appointed to deal with their financial and other affairs.
The application for a Deputy to be appointed can take many months to be dealt with because of the process that has to be followed and the Court of Protection is not always the quickest in dealing with correspondence and documentation. The person appointed to be the Deputy can only act for the person who has lost capacity once the order appointing them has been made by the court.
The costs of making an application for a Deputy to be appointed can be significant and there are on-going annual costs payable to the court, and other costs.
We can deal with the application to the court for a Deputy to be appointed. However, if early action is taken before a person loses mental capacity then it may be possible to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney instead which is significantly cheaper in terms of costs and court fees and the time it takes to set up.