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Mental capacity – tensions emerge between attorneys and relatives

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Guy PerkinsThe sad news of former footballer and TV presenter, Sir Jimmy Hill’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, has bought to the fore issues surrounding decision making when one loses capacity.

In 2005 Hill appointed his wife and a solicitor attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). His children have recently expressed their disappointment as to their lack of influence over their Father’s care. Attorneys under an EPA have a limited duty to consult with family members when making decisions, thus potentially rendering loved ones without a say. Attorneys are under a duty to consult with anyone “interested in the donor’s welfare,” but are not obliged to follow their wishes. That said, attorneys are subject to the overriding jurisdiction of the Court of Protection and the Office of the Public Guardian. The right to apply to the Court of Protection to have a deputy appointed in relation to health and welfare and indeed, challenge the appointment of an attorney, extends to children of the donor and Hill’s children can apply to the Court.

If you or a family member have concerns regarding the appointment of an attorney under either Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney our Contentious Probate team can help. We are independently recommended and are happy to have a no cost, no obligation initial discussion to help you better understand the issues that might apply in your specific circumstances.

Please contact Guy Perkins at guy.perkins@twmsolicitors.com

For further information about our work and experience in this area, click contentious trusts and probate.

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