DAY 1: David 63 has multiple strokes
DAY 4: Family told he will never fully recover
DAY 9: All bank accounts etc with David’s name on are “frozen”. His wife Fiona is unable to sign or act on husband’s behalf. She needs to make an application to the Court of Protection. Told cost will be approx £2,000 to £3,000 and will take 3-4 months
DAY 10: Unable to finance application as she cannot access savings
Income now restricted and is unable to pay all the household bills
Son comes to her aid and funds Court application and provides £300pm toward household bills whilst court application progresses
DAY 15: Fiona has to establish a new bank account in own name as her own pension paid in to frozen joint account which she cannot access.
DAY 30: Due to husband’s physical situation urgent need to move to a bungalow. This cannot happen as she is unable sign for husband and so Fiona will have to wait for her Court application to succeed.
DAY 116: Courts makes its ruling. She will be made “deputy” but first she must take out £275,000 guarantee bond to protect her own husband’s assets against her mismanagement! Cost £550 pa.
DAY 118: Court tells her how much she can write a cheque out for. Must keep detailed accounts and make regular reports to the Court. There will be fees for the different reports and Court requests
All this will go on day in day out, until her husband recovers or dies.
The other real tragedy behind this story is that Fiona and David knew full well that they could have got LPAs for as little as £375 each, and so avoided all the stress and intrusion the Court of Protection. But time and time again they put off making a decision until David was struck down and the decision was taken away from them.
When incapacity strikes an adult in England and Wales the Banks and Building Societies etc are obliged to follow The Mental Capacity Act 2005. This means that no one, including the spouse, is allowed access to the assets and accounts (even those held jointly) in that individual’s name. Nor can anyone act for, or sign on behalf of that individual.
FOR THE SPOUSE/FAMILY TO OVERCOME THIS SITUATION THERE ARE ONLY TWO POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS:
1, A LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY IS ALREADY IN PLACE. CITY & COUNTRY FINANCIAL SERVICES
PRICE FROM £375
2, AN APPLICATION TO THE COURT OF PROTECTION. TAKES 3-4 MONTHS. LEGAL COSTS AND COURT FEES FROM £2,000 UPWARDS PLUS ON-GOING COSTS AND FEES IRRESPECTIVE IF COURT APPOINTS A FAMILY MEMBER OR A STRANGER AS DEPUTY, UNTIL THE INDIVIDUAL RECOVERS OR DIES.
IT SHOULD BE AN EASY DECISION, YET MANY FAMILIES STILL END UP PAYING THOUSANDS SIMPLY BECAUSE SOMEONE DITHERED OVER ARRANGING AN LPA
A DELAY CAN BE VERY EXPENSIVE INDEED!