Working together, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and the Court of Protection (COP) exist to protect individuals who are unable to make decisions for themselves about their personal health, finance or welfare.
Forsters regularly advises clients in relation to making Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) and registering these with the OPG. LPAs appoint attorneys who can assist a person who subsequently loses capacity to make decisions concerning their affairs.
Where there is no LPA and a person lacks capacity, an application can be made to the COP for the appointment of a deputy, or for other orders concerning the management of their affairs in their best interests. This can often be a highly emotive time for families; Forsters works closely and sensitively with its clients to guide them through the process and ensure a positive outcome.
The Forsters team is often called upon to advise on matters that have a contentious element, for example, where a new will is required for a person lacking capacity and where there is disagreement over what its provisions should be. Where possible, we seek to resolve any dispute ahead of applying to the COP but, even if this is not achievable, we are able to use our knowledge and experience of both the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the court process to ensure that applications can proceed as swiftly as possible. This is especially relevant where physical health issues mean that time is of the essence.