If you become mentally incapable of managing your own welfare and financial affairs due to an accident or illness, if you have not made a Power of Attorney then a relative or friend will require to apply to the Court for a “Guardianship Order” to enable them to do this.
Once granted, such an order would allow them to deal with your financial and/or personal matters so as to look after your best interests.
Making a Guardianship Application to the Court can be a complex process and we can assist you in doing this. This will involve drafting the necessary legal documentation and obtaining the required medical reports in support of this.
Such Applications have to be prepared and presented to the Court within a specified timescale and there are often other factors to take into account such as obtaining a “Bond of Caution” which effectively is insurance to protect the finances of the incapacitated individual if you are seeking a power to deal with their finances.
If you have a friend or relative whom you think is, or may be incapable of dealing with their own affairs, then you may wish to contact us to discuss your concerns.
A Guardianship Application is not always appropriate or necessary, depending upon the circumstances of each individual matter, but a confidential discussion may well put your mind at rest.
Free Legal Aid, i.e. legal aid which is not means tested, is available to cover the court proceedings in all guardianship actions where welfare powers alone or a combination of welfare and financial powers are sought. Therefore the money and property of the incapacitated person (“the adult”) will not be used to pay for the court action. This can save families a significant amount of money – even if they consider themselves “well off” financially.
Legal aid is also available for the preparatory work before going to court and the grant of a legal aid certificate, but this initial form of legal aid is means tested. Again large sums of money can be saved if “the adult” qualifies for legal aid. Whilst a fair number of cases go ahead free throughout the whole process, for some cases payment towards the preparatory work has to be made. We will work out the cheapest option for you.