Private Client

Mental capacity and powers of attorney

Mental capacity and powers of attorney

Powers of attorney

An ordinary power of attorney will cease to be valid if the donor loses mental capacity. Therefore we strongly recommend that our clients have Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in place, which can be used in the event that they lose mental capacity. There are two different kinds of LPAs: one enables attorneys to make financial decisions on behalf of the donor and the other deals with health and welfare decisions. A health and welfare LPA can also enable attorneys to make decisions about life-sustaining treatment on behalf of the donor. Careful thought needs to be given to the choice of attorneys, whether a relative, friend, or professional, and how they are appointed. We will prepare the necessary forms and register them with the Court in order that the LPAs will be ready for use should they ever be required. An LPA for financial decisions may not be required if the client already has an earlier form of power of attorney known as an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in place. We can deal with the registration of EPAs and related advice, and also advise whether it is necessary to replace the EPA with a financial decisions LPA. In addition to preparing LPAs for clients, we also advise attorneys on their duties and responsibilities and help guide them through potentially difficult times, once it becomes necessary for the attorney to start using the LPAs.

Deputyships

If you lose the capacity to make decisions on your own behalf, and have not granted a power of attorney, the only way that access can be obtained to your financial assets is for an application to be made to the Court of Protection for a deputy to be appointed. The deputy can make decisions in your place so far as your financial affairs are concerned. We have a team of lawyers who are experienced in making such applications, but the process is expensive and time consuming for all parties and therefore much better avoided by having LPAs in place. Deputies can also be appointed in relation to health and welfare decisions.

 

Disabled persons’ trusts

Disabled persons’ trusts provide a tax efficient mechanism for controlling funds on behalf of a vulnerable beneficiary who is unable to manage their finances. Such trusts benefit from special tax treatment and we can assist in their preparation and administration, ensuring the trusts qualify for the most tax efficient treatment. Statutory wills and applications to the Court of Protection Where a person lacks capacity to make an ordinary Will it is possible to apply to the Court of Protection to make a “statutory will” on their behalf. It is also possible to apply to the Court for authorisation to effect, for example, lifetime succession planning if a person lacks capacity to make those decisions. We have lawyers who are experienced in preparing such Wills and dealing with the Court and families in relation to this specialised area.

Download an overview of lasting powers of attorney under English law.

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Wilfrid Vernor-Miles

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Wilfrid Vernor-Miles

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Lucinda Tite

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Lucinda Tite

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Lara Barton

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Lara Barton

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David Draisey

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David Draisey

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Mary Elliott

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Mary Elliott

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Richard Kershaw

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Richard Kershaw

Partner

Julia Lewis

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Julia Lewis

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Charlotte Simm

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Charlotte Simm

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Mark Stiebel

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Mark Stiebel

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Louise Walker

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Louise Walker

Partner

Sunir Watts

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Sunir Watts

Partner

Matthew Yates

Partner

Matthew Yates

Partner

Paul Camfield

Senior Associate

Paul Camfield

Senior Associate

Katie Martin

Senior Associate

Katie Martin

Senior Associate

Harriet Murray

Senior Associate

Harriet Murray

Senior Associate

Daniel Watson

Senior Associate

Daniel Watson

Senior Associate

Vanina Wittenburg

Senior Associate

Vanina Wittenburg

Senior Associate

Louise Garrett

Associate

Louise Garrett

Associate

Flora Nelmes

Associate

Flora Nelmes

Associate

Julia Norris

Associate

Julia Norris

Associate

Esme Sheridan

Associate

Esme Sheridan

Associate

Amy Taylor

Probate Manager

Amy Taylor

Probate Manager

Gina Adams

Trust and Tax Manager

Gina Adams

Trust and Tax Manager

Susan Cutts

Trust and Tax Manager

Susan Cutts

Trust and Tax Manager

Elizabeth Paterson

Trust and Tax Manager

Elizabeth Paterson

Trust and Tax Manager

Julie Rudd

Trust and Tax Manager

Julie Rudd

Trust and Tax Manager

Kiran Sangha

Trust and Tax Manager

Kiran Sangha

Trust and Tax Manager

Alexandra Sarkis

Consultant

Alexandra Sarkis

Consultant

Marie Schwab

Paralegal

Marie Schwab

Paralegal

Priya Mohanakumar

Trainee Solicitor

Priya Mohanakumar

Trainee Solicitor

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