As we continue to emerge from lockdown measures and deal with local measures and the short and long term economic impact of Covid-19, local authorities will need to re-assess how services will be delivered for years to come.
Her doctor was planning to run further tests, but she was preparing herself for the worst. Being a no-nonsense sort of person, she had immediately responded to this painful news by setting about putting her financial affairs in order.
She advised me that she had gone online and had created her own Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”), for which I commended her on her pragmatism and good sense. She then went on to tell me of her choice of attorneys and I was immediately concerned, and so gently said so.
My friend had appointed her adult children - her son and daughter - as her attorneys, jointly and severally.
Now it might seem appropriate, indeed obvious, that a person's adult children would be the clear choice as their attorneys. I knew that my friend’s children loved her dearly and would wish to do everything they could to ensure that her affairs were managed in her “best interests” when the time came.
However I also knew that my friend’s son had bipolar disorder, and that from time to time, as a consequence of his mood swings, he would exhibit irrational and impulsive spending patterns. I was also aware that my friend’s daughter had a partner who was struggling to manage his gambling addiction.
We talked through the financial risks and the various scenarios that might play out if her son and daughter took on the role of attorney for her, and my friend came to the conclusion that she needs revoke (or cancel) her recent LPA, and start again.
Talking through the terms and provisions of your LPA with a solicitor can result in important issues being identified that may be far from obvious.
Getting the choice of attorney right is critical. I have recently been appointed by the Court as a property and financial affairs deputy for an elderly woman who had appointed her two sons, jointly and severally, as her attorneys. They were both very capable and financially sound individuals, who wanted to help their mother. However, as brothers, they disliked and distrusted each other, and could not work together. They each made allegations that the other had mismanaged their mother’s affairs, acted in self interest, and breached his duties as attorney. After lengthy and expensive proceedings in the Court of Protection, the LPA was revoked, and the Court decided that an independent panel deputy be appointed, to step in and take over the management of their mother’s affairs.
At Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS), we recognise that a diagnosis such as dementia or the onset of a mental illness can cause great stress and anxiety, and lead to a fear of loss of independence or control over their own life.
Mental capacity is the ability to make decisions for yourself. People who cannot make their own decisions are said to ‘lack capacity’, whether their difficulty is due to an injury, a learning disability, mental health problem or a condition such as dementia, which might affect the way a person’s brain makes decisions. A person may have the capacity to make some decisions but not others.
A person may have lost mental capacity to manage their own complex financial affairs, and yet they may have still the capacity to appoint individuals they trust to manage their finances on their behalf, by making a Lasting Power of Attorney.
At ACS, we work alongside men and women who, for a number of different reasons, may already struggle to make certain decisions for themselves.
With appropriate support and advice, we know that individuals with impaired or fluctuating capacity may nevertheless still be able to make some important decisions for themselves, to prepare for an uncertain future.
If you or a member of your family is simply keen to prepare for the future in a very practical way, or indeed, if they are coming to terms with an unwelcome diagnosis and are under pressure to “get their affairs in order”, please do contact our PPM team. We would be delighted to talk to you, answer any questions you may have, and advise and support you through the process of making an LPA.
For more information
Please contact Sheree Green
The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
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