Q. My wife didn’t make a Lasting Power of Attorney (known as LPA). My doctor advises me that following on from a stroke my wife doesn’t have the required understanding to make one. How do I access her bank accounts and how do I sell our home so that we can downsize to a bungalow?
We advise clients to consider making LPA’s at the time of making a will. If an LPA is not an option there is an alternative. You could apply to the Court of Protection to ask them to appoint you to manage your wife’s finances.
The Court of Protection is a specialist court that makes decisions on behalf of people who cannot decide for themselves. It can take some time to put into place primarily due to the volume of work that the Court has to deal with. The application, if not objected, is a paperwork exercise and does not involve going to Court.
If you own your property jointly you will need a separate Court order to give permission to sell the property and to appoint a trustee to act on your wife’s behalf in the sale of your home. This could be the solicitor who is acting in the Sale for you. There is a separate Court fee for this but you can apply for both at the same time.
If you have found yourself in this situation I would advise you to see a specialist who can talk you through the steps involved, the time scales and the costs.
If you would like a chat about Court of Protection matters please feel free to contact me for a free 30-minute consultation.
Jane Flaherty Solicitor TEP
Fully accredited member of the Solicitors for the Elderly