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This is why you should never put things off

This is why you should never put things off
Owens Estate Planning | Posted 03.02.2021 | John Owens

When an adult loses capacity, in the absence of a Lasting Power of Attorney the family are forced into a horrible, costly journey...

The most common enquiry during my Age UK advice clinics is from adults asking what can be done for a parent who has lost mental capacity.

How can they sort out their affairs?

How can they make decisions about their care and health?

How can they get permission to sell the house if it is needed to pay for care?

Sadly the answer is always the same: its too late for me to help.

Instead they must apply to the Court of Protection to look after their parent act as a "deputy" of the court. This process is not fun, it is far from cheap and on average takes between 9-12 months. Even if the court decides to appoint the son or daughter as a deputy, it is usually with limited powers. In addition, there is a yearly fee charged by the court to monitor the son or daughter.

If only they had come to me earlier, before capacity had been lost...

I could have helped the parent set up Lasting Powers of Attorney so their loved ones could look after their affairs and make decisions on their behalf. This process is quicker, cheaper and far less stressful. Unfortunately, too many people think they’ll never need them, or that they are only for rich people.