Mr T is a 78-year-old man with dementia. Two years ago, his wife of many years died and the death affected him significantly. His dementia deteriorated to the point where he was no longer safe in his own home. The couple did not have any children and Mr T did not have a family of his own so his late wife’s family helped him move into a care home where he would be appropriately cared for.
Mr T has significant wealth - his estate is worth £2 million and he is going to receive a further £5 million from his late wife’s estate. Unfortunately, he has been assessed as lacking the mental capacity to manage his finances and no lasting power of attorney was put in place when he had capacity. The only way for anyone to manage his finances would be to make an application to be appointed as his financial deputy by the Court of Protection.
Due to the complexity of his finances, Mr T's late wife’s family contacted us and asked whether we could be appointed as his financial deputies. An application was made and our two professional deputies, Donna Holmes and Clare Burke, were appointed who have many years of experience between them. He had outstanding care fees, tax returns and a long list of other issues that needed urgent consideration.
During the application process, we asked the Court of Protection for authority to be able to apply for grant of probate for Mr T’s late wife. Our traditional private client team (wills, trusts and estate administration) will be administering his late wife’s estate.
Mr T and his late wife made mirror wills leaving each other’s estate to the other. They did not consider what should happen after the second death. Mr T inherited shares from his late wife’s family business which, if no action was taken, would be inherited by his next closest relatives under the intestacy rules, i.e. his distant cousins. In our view, it is appropriate that these shares should stay in Mr T’s late wife’s family.
We are currently preparing a statutory will application to the Court of Protection (an application to execute a will for someone who lacks the capacity to do so themselves) to ensure that the family business shares stay within Mr T’s late wife’s family.
Due to the wide range and experience our department offers, we can assist with all aspects of someone’s financial life.
If you have any questions, please contact Gail Saunders or Puja Desai to discuss this further.
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