Lasting Powers of Attorney, and Court of Protection …. myths and harsh realities

Probably the most common misconception regarding property and cash is that a spouse can continue to operate a bank account that is in joint names, after his/her partner has lost capacity.

If it’s not to breach the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and its own rule-book the bank has no choice but to freeze the account(s) in question. They can only allow access to a named person or persons under a court order, or a registered LPA that cites they have the authority to act as the deputy for that person.
Considering the financial mayhem that will result from frozen bank accounts would you want to risk being without a Property LPA?

No LPAs and applying to the Court of Protection (CoP) for Deputyship:
The Court very rarely grants deputyship for health and welfare to a family member, and does so only in extreme circumstances where no resolution can be reached that is in the best interests of the person.

When the CoP does appoint a deputy to make continuing decisions about someone’s health and welfare it is where regular treatment or supervision is needed, for example with a younger person. The Court takes the view that if these types of decisions are to be in the person’s best interest it should be by those medically qualified to provide care and/or treatment, which very often is not the family.
Remember also that the family, spouse or next of kin have no legal right or authority to make or be involved in health or medical decision for any adult family member aged 18 or over.
Conclusion: If you prefer to know that someone you trust can intercede on your behalf regarding your medical treatment you need to arrange a LPA (health & welfare) now whilst you have the ability to do so.

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