Our team of specialist lawyers have extensive experience of dealing with a range of different circumstances where there is a dispute as to the management of a person’s property and financial affairs.
Unfortunately, even in circumstances in which an attorney or a deputy has been appointed to manage the property and affairs of a person that is unable to do so themselves, disputes can arise.
Examples of some of the disputes we routinely assist with include:
- Disputes over whether the donor still has capacity to manage their property and financial affairs
- Contested applications for the appointment of an attorney or deputy
- Disputed statutory will applications
- Disputes over the validity of a Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’). For example, on the basis that the donor did not have mental capacity or was coerced into making the LPA
- Concerns that an attorney or deputy is not acting appropriately and should be removed from their role
- Action needing to be taken to reclaim funds that have been misappropriated by an attorney or deputy
Our expert team can advise you on the merits of any potential action and guide you through the dispute to reach a swift and cost effective resolution.
We regularly support our clients with:
- Reports to the Office of the Public Guardian and Social Services
- Applications to the Court of Protection, including applications to appoint a deputy, for a declaration as to the vulnerable person’s capacity and for the removal of attorneys and deputies
- Applications for the recovery of funds and/or the setting aside of transfers of property (before and after death)
- The resolution of financial abuse claims by alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, early neutral evaluation and joint settlement meetings
The Ministry of Justice has recently published a toolkit for parents and carers of children who do not have mental capacity to make decisions in respect of their finances. The toolkit explains the parent / care giver’s rights and what they need to do in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act in order to manage the child’s finances. Click here to access the toolkit.
Costs in the Court of Protection
Different rules apply in the Court of Protection depending on whether the application concerns property and financial affairs or health and welfare issues.
In cases relating to property and financial affairs, the costs of proceedings will usually be met by the person lacking mental capacity. In cases relating to a person’s health and welfare, the general rule is that each party must bear their own costs.
However, the Court of Protection does have the power to depart from these rules, should this be justified in the circumstances. For example, if one party has acted unreasonably in making an application, failed to co-operate with the other parties or failed to comply with a rule or Court Order. We can advise you as to the merits of making a costs application or where there is a risk of a cost application being made against you.