When a Will is not enough…
The following act of law has huge implications for both our personal and business lives, please take the time to understand this information and act on it.
Since the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act on 1st October 2007, should you lose capacity through a variety of circumstances including but not limited to Stroke, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s or being involved in an accident, the Court of Protection - as opposed to the people you love and trust - will take control of you and all of your affairs (bank accounts including joint accounts, savings and investments, property, medication, medical treatment and where you are allowed to live).
As Tiffin Green has had first-hand experience of how this act of law has had devastating effects on client’s lives we urge you to consider putting legal documents in place called Lasting Power of Attorney - to protect yourself and your loved ones.
To assist we can introduce you to friendly local specialists who will simplify the drafting of such documents.
“It is a common myth that, if you begin to lose capacity to make decisions for yourself, your next of kin can just take over your affairs on your behalf. This is not so”
Martin John, Chief Executive of the Office of the Public Guardian for England and Wales (Source, BBC Radio 4, Money Box Live, 2010)
In 2009 the press reported that the little known Court of Protection had used its powers to seize £3.2 billion from the public, freeze joint accounts and raid homes of the elderly in search of financial documents.
Over recent years there have been intermittent stories in the media – here we focus on one story that could happen to anyone…
In January 2010, in response to the press articles about the Court of Protection, Dominic Littlewood for the One Show covered the Heather Bateman story to highlight the fact that next of kin rights were not automatic in the event of a family member losing capacity. The programme featured the sad case of Michael Bateman who fell into a coma after being knocked down by a car when walking on a country road. Michael and Heather had been married over 28 years and his salary paid the household bills. They had put their wills in place and assumed this would be all they needed.
However, as Michael was alive but incapacitated Heather discovered that she wasn’t allowed to use any of his money or sell any of his property including that which was jointly owned.
Heather couldn’t legally have access to Michael’s accounts whilst he was ill because he hadn’t granted her the correct legal authority to do so. With that in place she would have had complete control over all of his financial affairs, instead she had to apply the Court of Protection, the court set up under the Mental Capacity Act to protect the assets of vulnerable people.
Even after completing this costly and time consuming process, Heather was still monitored closely by the Court with restrictions enforced and had to endure regular reviews and on-going costs.
“No one can take responsibility for your affairs unless they have been given proper legal authority,”
The Mental Capacity Act affects everyone over the age of 18. Whilst we are mentally sound we have the opportunity to nominate the people we love and trust to manage our affairs in the event that we are unable to do so.
Take advantage of a free, no obligation consultation to ensure you or your family do not lose control to the Court of Protection – Contact us today.