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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11726
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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What needs to be taken into consideration when trying to

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What needs to be taken into consideration when trying to obtain legal rights over parents with dementia to protect their assets?
JA: What steps have they taken? Have they filed any papers in family court?
Customer: Nothing. Both parents are in differing stages of dementia and we are unable to establish if there is a will in place.
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do they live in?
Customer: they actually live in Ireland. I know the law will be different and I Will be seeking legal advice from Ireland, however I’m unsure of what questions to ask. There are 6 siblings, however 1 is seeking to gain total control without consulting the rest. Is this something that could happen in general terms or would all 6 have to be consulted.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: There are 2 siblings in residence at the home property who do not get on. Can one make legal decisions in relation to medical care, access to assets without the knowledge of the other. Thank you

Hello, and thank you for your question. I am your Expert and I will provide the answer you require.

1. The first thing is that what follows is advice under Irish law, because as your parents are resident in Ireland, it will be in Ireland that a legal process to deal with their care and assets will be implemented. Essentially, both your parents need to be made Wards of Court under the Irish Wards of Court procedure. This essentially appoints a Committee to deal with their welfare and to make decisions in relation to issue such as their medical care, payment for their medical care, what happens to their assets and how their overall situation shall be dealt with.

2. From the point of differing views of how your parents' care should be dealt with, there must be a minimum of two persons in the Committee for a Ward of Court. So, it would be better from the overall viewpoint of management, if only one of the two residing at the home property were included in the Committee or if an entirely neutral group of people were appointed to the Committee to made decisions in relation to the care and financial management of both your parents. Ultimately, it would be better if a harmonious Committee were appointed without the consequential bickering which comes from have personalities which do not see eye to eye.

3. The legal procedure is that an application is made in the High Court Wards of Court List to have both your parents admitted to Wardship. For this purpose, you should speak with a solicitor and also get a barrister to make the application on your parents' behalf. Essentially, the List takes place on a Monday and each application only lasts a short duration of about 10-25 minutes when the basis for the application is discussed and any contentious issues are resolved. In your situation, if there is a dispute about who should be appointed to the Committee, then each side will be heard at the initial making of the Order to appoint a Committee. So, from your point of view, it would be better if you were the person to move the Wardship application as ultimately, this means you are more likely to be listened to, on the subject of who should be appointed to the Committee of Wardship.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you.

4. If there is a dispute among the members of the Committee of Wardship about what should happen in relation to an aspect of your parents' care, then an application to court to resolve the issue or dispute can be made. This is how the resolution of disagreements among members of the Committee is resolved if there is no consensus.

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Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Can you give an estimate of the cost of the Ward of court process and is there a limit to the number of committee members. Thanks

6. The first thing you should do is to speak with the solicitor who will make the application. However, I would have thought approximately €3-5,000 would be the approximate legal fees associated with the process. However, each solicitor will charge differently, so it is important to get a quote from who you are dealing with. Secondly, eight is the maximum number of Committee members. However, two or three is what is usually appointed.