Did you ever wonder what would have happened to Wilma and Pebbles if Fred had got hit on the head by a wayward dinosaur or a falling rock and lost capacity?
A lot of people believe that as his spouse Wilma would automatically have control of finances or decisions- especially if a joint bank account for all their clams existed; or that Pebbles could take control if she were old enough.
However, unfortunately, that is simple not true. Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 it is stated very clearly that a spouse, child or other person can look after the affairs on someone who has lost capacity only if they have been appointed as an Attorney by a registered Lasting Power of Attorney If this has not happened then as the point of losing capacity joint accounts must be frozen.
The consequences of this can be both emotionally and financially draining. The family would need to apply to the Court of protection to appoint a Deputy to handle all personal affairs which would incur fees. During this, often lengthy, process, family have no access to the frozen bank account, which can lead to financial hardship. This process is best avoided if possible.
It is also a misconception that only the elderly need a Lasting Power Attorney, as with Fred’s unfortunate run in with a Diplodocus, people of all ages can lose capacity- either temporarily or permanently- due to illness or an accident resulting in major injury.
So, whilst we all hope that will Fred will never need it, having an LPA now can save time, emotional distress and a large number of clams in the long run.
If you’d like to talk about Lasting Powers of Attorney or the Deputyship process yourself please contact me on 0115 8780417 or firstname.lastname@example.org