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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Would I be correct to understand that your mother in law no longer has capacity to understand what a power of attorney is an make a decision as to whom she wishes to grant a power of attorney to please or would she still be able to do so?
No she would I believe be legally unable to make that decision now as she has a hospital diagnosis for vascular dementia.
On that basis unfortunately if she has not previously made an LPA or EPA power of attorney then it is too late to make a power of attorney. Instead consideration would need to be given to an application for deputyship
OK thanks have been looking at that and I feel my wife would be acting in her best interests but if she applied to the courts of protection for this would her brother and sister be able to contest it?
Sorry I just had to take a phone call...This is similar to a POA but rather is granted by a court.
The application fee is £500 which obviously is not cheap but it can be a way of taking more control over your mother in laws care if you are troubled or potentially troubbled by some of the decisions being made on her behalf.
It is not absolutely necessary to apply for deputyship. If no power of attorney for H&W or deputyship order has been granted then decisions in relation to your MIL's care must be made by third parties on a "best interests" basis under the Mental Capacity Act. Third parties could be the local authority, or doctors for example.
If you decide to pursue the application for deputyship, these are the application forms and guidance in order to apply to become your MIL's deputy:
OK thanks so if my wife applied would my brother-in-law and sister-in-law be able to contest is as I have spoken to the courts of protection helpline and understand if they appeal it could involve further costs or would they have to prove she was not acting in her best interests?
Your wife could make an application to become a deputy. Notice must be given to all family members that have a potential interest which would include her siblings.
They can make an application to be given deputyship too and/or object to your wife being appointed. The court will consider evidence any party wishes to submit including their own statements and that of third parties that have relevant knowledge
OK thanks for your advice
The court will make an order that it believes is in the best interests of your MIL which may be to appoint one or more of the applicants or none of them at all. Generally a court will favour an applicant that has had greatest contact but this does not rule out other family members. Insolvency issues will however be a significant issue which will count against her brother should he wish to apply.
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