CASE STUDY: Wills and Probate – Lasting Power of Attorney

Client circumstances

Mr James was a 78 year old man living with his wife, Mrs James, in the home they shared and jointly owned. Mr James had Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms were mild to begin with and the couple were able to cope. However, as the disease progressed, it interfered more with daily life and Mr and Mrs James increasingly struggled to cope with Mr James’ advancing dementia.

Concerned for her husband’s safety in their home, Mrs James decided that they should sell the house and move into supported accommodation which offered appropriate facilities and suited the needs of both of them. Once the house was sold, they could use the proceeds of sale to pay for their accommodation.

The legal problems our client faced:

Mr James had never made a lasting power of attorney, meaning Mrs James was unable to make legal decisions on his behalf. The James’ needed to sell their house in order to pay for the supported accommodation they required. As they jointly owned the home, with Mr James lacking capacity, only one trustee remained. In law, there must be at least two trustees, so before they could sell the house, a new trustee had to be appointed to take the place of Mr James. Further, somebody needed to be appointed as deputy, to make future financial and legal decisions, in Mr James’ best interest, as he no longer had mental capacity to make such decisions.

How our expert solicitors were able to help:

Our Wills and Probate solicitors first applied to the Court of Protection (under S36(9) of the Trustee Act 1925) to appoint a new trustee, of the family home, in Mr James’ place, on the grounds that he no longer had mental capacity.

Upon appointment of Mr James’ Son as new trustee, our property solicitors were able to move forward with the sale of the house, the proceeds of which allowed the James’ to pay off some debts and afford the supported accommodation from which they would benefit so much.

An application, to the Court of Protection, was then made by our Wills and Probate solicitors for an order appointing Mr James’ son as Deputy for Property and Finance, under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. This allowed him to make financial and legal decisions on his father’s behalf therefore allowing him to better assist Mr James with his daily life.

Sadly, this is a very typical case, one which our Wills and Probate solicitors see regularly. You can avoid the stress and cost of a lengthy process, such as the one above, by making an appointment with our Wills and Probate solicitors. They will assist you in making a Lasting Power of Attorney to make decisions on your behalf should the unthinkable happen.

If you find yourself in a situation similar to the case study above, you can contact us to arrange an appointment. Our expert solicitors can advise you of the steps you need to take, support you through the process and ensure your legal problems are solved in a sensitive, efficient and cost effective manner.

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