Q. My mother, a widow, was diagnosed with dementia some time ago and her condition has now worsened. She has no Lasting Power of Attorney document in place and I am concerned as to how I will sort her finances out – what should I do?

A.   Although it is always wise to ensure you have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place should it ever be required, many people never get around to sorting it out until it is too late and they find they do not have capacity to manage their financial and property affairs effectively or at all.

Fortunately, all is not lost, and an appropriate person is able to make an application for what is known as a Deputyship Order through the Court of Protection (itself part of the work of the High Court in England & Wales). An ‘appropriate person’ would typically be a family member but if no-one is willing or perhaps suitable to apply to the Court of Protection then someone else could apply and be appointed and this typically may be a professional person who specialises in undertaking the duties of being a Deputy in the management of an individual’s finance and property.

The process of being appointed as a Deputy to manage another person’s affairs can be a little complicated and does involve time and administration skills amongst others and it is important to ensure you receive the best and most appropriate advice from the outset.

At Slater Heelis we have a dedicated team who deal with all aspects of Court of Protection work and also one of our team is a Court appointed professional Deputy and so is available to work with families not able to undertake the duties themselves or where perhaps the Court requires a professional Deputy to take on the role. Please contact our Team in the Private Client Department for further details.