Legal Services – Public Guardianship Office/Court of Protection
What happens if you don't appoint an attorney and you become mentally incapable?
If you have assets such as a house or savings which have to be used to look after you they will be frozen if you lose capacity. Someone - usually your nearest relative or if no such person is available, a professional, such as a Solicitor - will apply to a Court called the Court of Protection. The Court will appoint someone to act. The mentally incapable person becomes a 'Patient' and the person who deals with the finances is called a 'Deputy'.
The Court oversees the work of the Deputy and, once a year, the deputy has to submit an annual account to show how the money of the patient has been spent. The Court then takes an annual administration fee which is based on a scale fee - very roughly about £800 per £100,000 every year. On top of that, if there are professional advisers then they too will need to be paid.
It is therefore better to appoint an attorney but if this is not possible a professional such as one of our solicitors can smooth the administrative problems of making such an application.
Applications can also be made to the Court in respect of statutory wills and lifetime gifts.