Guest Post by Andy Baxter
The current system of public protection was updated (there has been a ‘Public Guardian’ to protect the vulnerable for a very long time) by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its provisions which tightened the legislation regarding mental incapacity (supposed more stringent tests to determine capacity and removing the ‘enduring’ power that was being abused in many cases to one of ‘lasting’ power that could be automatically revoked on demonstration of capacity) all this took effect in legislation 1st October 2007.
Being an IFA and reading of this sort of issue constantly in my trade press and having come across it many times in a long career it forms the foundation of financial planning where protection is concerned for my clients.
I am reminded of one particular case (from our trade press) where a farmer who suffered an accident and went into a coma where his wife approached the public guardian to seek the power to manage the affairs of the farm and her husband. The court sensing mega bucks refused this power to his wife!!! On the grounds she was not qualified to make these decisions despite having been involved in the management of the farm and their personal affairs for decades.
A court official was appointed and her husband lingered for over 7 months in a coma before eventually dying. The court official sold some of the farm’s land to meet the fees of the court and its agents! completely against the long term financial interests of the farmers wife and the family, this also created a tax burden that she then had to meet from his estate! The wife is on record as saying and I quote “it was a relief when he died for then I was able to take back control of our affairs once more under probate” her comments regarding the ‘service’ and ‘costs’ of the court are unprintable.
The situation described could have been avoided totally but for the expenditure of a few hundred pounds to create Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).
These documents if completed correctly totally remove the States power to determine not only the financial decisions regarding someone who loses mental capacity on their money ‘financial and property’ affairs but also removes the State’s power to determine ‘health and welfare’ issues even and up to including decisions regarding ‘life sustaining treatment’.
With these documents properly completed and then registered with the ‘Office of the Public Guardian’ an attorney YOU trust appointed by yourself duly endowed with such legal powers to make decisions as if they were YOURSELF to protect financial, property, health and welfare issues can then give the proverbial two finger salute to any officials or agents of the State as they have the legal power to act as if they were yourself.
Want to know more about how one can protect yourself and your loved ones from an interfering State? And for a cost thousands of pounds below what a solicitor would charge and with no VAT either? e-mail me (work) at andy[at]wmifa.co.uk (replace the [at] with @)