Court of Protection
The Court of Protection is the part of the court service that deals with applications about the property, financial affairs and personal welfare of people who lack mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.
If you are looking after a person who has lost or is losing mental capacity, then we can assist you in dealing with the Court of Protection.
An overview of our Court of Protection services appears below. If your particular issue is not addressed here, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your requirements.
Deputyship – dealing with finances and property without a power of attorney
If you need to deal with the finances and property of a person who has lost mental capacity and that person does not have a valid power of attorney in place, you will need to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a financial ‘deputy’.
Woodstock Solicitors can guide you through all steps of the deputyship application, from completing the initial court papers through to serving the deputyship order on banks and other financial institutions on your behalf.
We can also advise you on your obligations as a deputy.
Making or changing a Will by court order
A person who has lost mental capacity cannot make a new Will or make changes to his or her current Will. This can cause real problems if a new Will is needed or if an existing Will requires updating, perhaps because the person’s assets have been substantially reduced by care fees so that cash gifts in the Will are no longer appropriate.
If you are concerned about the Will of a friend or family member who has lost capacity, we can advise. If a Will needs to be updated or a new Will made, we can guide you through the application to the Court of Protection for the necessary court order; a ‘statutory Will’ application.
Advice for attorneys – understanding your obligations
We appreciate that it can be daunting to manage the finances and property of another person, particularly if you are also dealing with the emotional impact of his or her illness.
Woodstock Solicitors provides a full advice service for attorneys. Whether you wish us to deal with all aspects of day-to-day financial management or if you need advice from time to time on a particular query about your role as an attorney, we can help.
Advice for attorneys – family gifting and inheritance tax planning
There may be some circumstances where, as an attorney, you will need the authority of the Court of Protection to act. For example, you authority as an attorney to make gifts is extremely limited and this can cause problems if you wish to undertake inheritance tax planning on behalf of the person you are caring for.
The Court of Protection can authorise attorneys to make gifts for inheritance tax planning purposes or to undertake other actions that would normally be beyond the authority granted by a power of attorney, for example, making loans to family members.
If you are considering inheritance tax planning using a power of attorney, we can advise on the extent of your legal authority and, if required, we can deal with all steps necessary to apply for a Court order enabling gifts to be made.
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