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If I lose capacity, will I be financially paralysed?

When people lose the capacity to make their own financial and other decisions it can lead to a complete paralysis of the family to help and intervene.

To an extent, if your spouse is still alive and retains capacity, this can be overcome by holding assets jointly. However this is not always guaranteed to work.

Where there are no joint holdings and no spouse then this will lead to a lengthy and expensive process of the family applying to the Court of Protection (COP) to obtain permission to access assets for the payment of necessary care fees. Sometimes the COP will appoint a solicitor as a deputy to act as the purse holder – expensive legal fees can then accrue, perhaps over many years.

What’s the solution?

Foresight and planning can help greatly in setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney where trusted friends or family can be given the power to act on your behalf. Powers can be granted to act on Property & Affairs, which is essentially financial decisions and also Health and Welfare which relates to the care package.

In a recent example a lady was being discharged from hospital having suffered a fall, her condition was complicated by her worsening dementia, consequently she had no capacity to make decisions about her care; the NHS were of the opinion that she should go into a care home. The family, given the continued Covid-19 situation were keen for her to be cared for at home. Because they had the right legal decision making mechanisms set up and in place they were able to influence the decision and negotiate a care package delivered in her home.

Make sure you stay in control.

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Contact Us

For further information on later life advice, contact Tim Davison on tim.davison@shawgibbs.com or call 01865 292200.

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