‘Mental capacity’ is the ability to make decisions for yourself.
No-one wishes to think of a time when they may lack capacity to make their own decisions, but the reality is that at some point this could occur. By planning ahead, you can ensure that matters run as smoothly as possible for you and those close to you in the event of your incapacity.
Putting a Will in place when capacity is not in doubt is an important step in ensuring the needs of your family are met into the future. It is then a question of keeping the Will under regular review. If you subsequently lose capacity, the Will cannot be changed (unless an application is made to Court for a Statutory Will).
It is also important to put Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, naming attorneys who can make decisions for you in relation to financial matters or health and welfare matters if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
If a person lacks mental capacity and does not have a Lasting Power of Attorney (or an old-style Enduring Power of Attorney), it will usually be necessary for someone to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as their Deputy. Once appointed by an Order of the Court, the Deputy can make the decisions authorised in the Court Order.
At Hewitsons, our experienced Private Wealth team can help you to put your affairs in order for the benefit of your family. We also have considerable experience of dealing with Court of Protection applications for those who lack capacity and we can act as Deputy if appropriate.