Case example: Dispute about the appointment of a Deputy

26/06/19

 

I received a call from a lady whose mother had suffered from a stroke and was bed bound and unable to deal with her  property or finances. Because of the effects of the stroke Mother was going to have to move in with one of her five children which meant her house would be vacant and incurring costs unless it was sold.

Mother did not have a Lasting Power of Attorney so there was no one with legal authority to sell the house on her behalf. Consequently, an application had to be made to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputy who could be authorised to deal with the sale of her home. However, the five children disagreed about who should apply to be the Deputy and deal with the property and finances - whether it should be the eldest two or the youngest two and they could not agree.  

Where there are competing applciation for a Deputy appointment a Judge at the Court of Protection will decide who is best placed to act in Mother's best interests. I advised the family that in these cirucmstances a Judge will likely decide that because the children were not getting along that none of them should be appointed because to act in Mother's best interests they need to consult with each other and a Judge may not risk appointing one of them. 

The children could have pursued an application and let a Judge decide, but that would result in delays and costs being incurred. Ultimately they agreed to appoint GLP solicitors as an independent, impartial Deputy to deal with her property and finances and consult with the children.

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