"Everything was in our joint names so we never thought a power of attorney was necessary"
I must admit that this was one reason why I had not really bothered to look at getting a Lasting Power of Attorney, and it was not until I saw Garry Streeter's information about it, that I thought,
"Blimey, I'd best get one done"
According to Garry, many families only become aware of the danger after the Court of Protection has them in their grip!
"Incapacity and the Court of Protection (CoP) are becoming some of the scariest (and most expensive) words a family will hear," says Garry.
It all started with good intentions - to help protect the assets of the “incapacitated” (Mental Capacity Act 2005).
This act is unforgivably complicated and it's effect is not widely known.
If you are aged 18+ living in England and Wales and for whatever reason (accident, stroke, dementia, heart attack etc) you become “incapacitated” all financial arrangements in your name, including any held jointly, will be frozen.
Your spouse or family will not be allowed access or have authority to act on your behalf without the appropriate permission from the Court.
Unless you have an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney your family will have to make a very long (3-4 months), and very expensive (typically £2,000+), application to the Court of Protection.
Even when the Court appoints a family member the problems are not over. They are just beginning.
The Court will dictate everything the “deputy” can or cannot do, moreover they will have to keep detailed records and report back to the Court on a regular basis. There will be fees to be paid for virtually every Court driven request and report.
If the Court appoints a solicitor instead, all the above applies but now you have to add all the solicitor’s costs and fees on top!
Caring for an incapacitated person with all his/her personal/medical needs is trauma enough, but add to it the financial nightmare of the CoP and frozen accounts etc and you can understand how it tears families apart.
Fortunately there is a simple and relatively cheap solution - a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
For more details, have a chat with Garry Streeter on 01953 451930