We were approached by the local authority to consider acting as a financial deputy for Mrs E. She had been living alone in her property and over the years had sadly become estranged from family and friends. Just prior to our involvement she had suffered a fall at home, which led to a hospital admission. It became clear that Mrs E was living with several overlapping mental health conditions and that she had been struggling to look after herself while living alone at home.
We arranged for several capacity assessments to be completed for Mrs E. These confirmed that she lacked both capacity to manage her financial affairs and to make decisions about where she should receive care. Mrs E had not created any form of Power of Attorney in previous years and she now needed someone to act on her behalf, with the correct legal authority.
With the input of the local authority (social services) a decision was made in Mrs E’s best interests for her to move into a local care home, where her more complex care needs could be met and Mrs E could be safe and well looked after.
We made an application to the Court of Protection for our Trust Corporation to be appointed as Mrs E’s property and affairs deputy. Little was known about Mrs E’s background, and as part of our application, we therefore applied for urgent authority from the court to make enquiries of Mrs E’s banks and other financial providers, so that we could understand her financial position more clearly. When this was established, a further urgent application was made for the court to authorise the release of funds to pay care fees which were owed for Mrs E. We were later appointed as deputy with full authority to act for Mrs E in connection with her financial affairs.
We were later in the process of arranging for Mrs E’s property to be cleared and sold, and we also arranged for Mrs E’s post to be redirected to us. As a result we became aware that a relative was trying hard to re-establish contact with Mrs E. This was a sensitive topic which we discussed with Mrs E face-to-face. She was also, at this time, keen to be put back in touch with her relative and, with her consent, her new contact details were shared. Mrs E’s relative began to visit her regularly in her care home and fortunately they were able to re-build their relationship in Mrs E’s advancing years.
Mrs E’s health condition sadly deteriorated further and her needs became more challenging to address. An application was made for NHS Continuing Healthcare for Mrs E. It was agreed by the health authority that she was eligible for funding which met the full cost of her care. Her eligibility was based upon her challenging health needs – she was considered to have a “primary healthcare need” – and not her financial means. As a result, up until the time that she passed away, the cost of Mrs E’s care was covered by this funding and not by Mrs E personally. Therefore the value of her estate was very much preserved for the eventual beneficiaries of her estate.