Good counsel could avoid control by council
The private client team at Wiltshire law firm Wansbroughs are always advising their clients to get a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, then if you were to lose your ability to function intellectually, you’d have an appointed attorney(s) to deal with matters on your behalf.
The message from a recent court case shows why this is so important.
In a recent case, a local council went to court to obtain permission to sell assets belonging to a dementia sufferer whose care costs exceeded his income by some £14,000 annually.
A member of the man’s family was living rent free in his house, which prevented it from being rented out so as to create an income stream or sold in order to provide a lump sum, either of which would provide sufficient funding to cover the cost of the man’s care and pay off his liabilities.
The council sought possession of the property and to be appointed as the man’s legal guardian.The council’s actions were opposed by the man’s son, but the court nonetheless granted the council’s application.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) will allow a family member or trusted friend to administer your affairs in accordance with your wishes should you no longer be able to do so yourself.
Having a power of attorney in place has many advantages for the family. Without one, handling what are usually trivial administrative matters on behalf of someone who is no longer competent to do so, can take a long time and may even necessitate expensive court proceedings.