Page 63 - Marlborough Living May June 2019
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   Contact our team
Trish Watkins is a specialist lawyer in issues relating to the elderly and those experiencing incapacity. With Royds Withy King offices in Marlborough and Swindon, you can contact her or the rest of the team for legal advice and guidance for those planning for later life as well as for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers.
Tel: 01672 514 781
or email:
  funds are accessible, and to make decisions on the person’s behalf regarding the treatment and care they receive if they are mentally incapable.
You may sometimes hear that someone is “next of kin” but this term carries
no legal authority and you should not rely on it. The only way to have legal authority to deal with someone else’s affairs is either through a LPA or a Deputyship.
What is a Deputyship?
If a person loses mental capacity without having first made a LPA,
then the only option available to
help them deal with their affairs, is to make a Deputyship application to the Court of Protection who will decide who to appoint to act on behalf of
the incapacitated person. In some circumstances, if there is a property to be sold, this further complicates the process which is already both costly and time consuming. The average Deputyship application takes around five months to go through the Court system during which time no one has
authority to make decisions on their behalf. This can cause real issues for care providers as during this time there is no one able to access the person’s funds.
Dealing with property
If someone becomes mentally incapable they cannot sell their property. If this
is necessary to release funds, their Attorney under a LPA, their Deputy or the Court of Protection will need to be involved.
If a person disposes of their property
in such a way as to avoid the payment of their care fees then this will be seen as a deprivation of assets and the transaction could be set aside. Contrary to popular belief there is no set period after which such a transaction would be ignored – it would very much depend on the timing and the reasons for disposal.
Transferring a property into the name of a loved one can also be problematic and again specialist advice should be sought before undertaking such a transaction.

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