10 October is World Mental Health Day. It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week have experienced a common mental health problem. The pandemic has left us all more vulnerable more than ever and people are more open to discussing the impact of mental health on their lives.
Aspects of an individual’s life can be taken for granted and this can be particularly difficult if you are living with a mental health issue. It is important that steps are taken to ensure adequate support is provided. Waldrons can advise on what you can do to plan ahead if in the future you cannot make decisions for yourself, regarding your health and/or finances, because you lack capacity to do so. We can prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney which will appoint suitable attorneys to make financial or health and welfare decisions on your behalf.
If no attorneys have been appointed, and in the event you lose mental capacity and cannot prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney, we can assist your loved ones in making an application to the Court of Protection to appoint a ‘Deputy’. A Deputy can make financial decision for the individual lacking mental capacity. In relation to health and welfare matters the Court of Protection does not often appoint Deputies for these decisions, and it is a lengthy and expensive process. Where medical decisions need to be taken, a health professional may act, and may consider the opinions of those who are close. However, if you are able to appoint an attorney by preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you have the mental capacity to do so, this will ensure that your attorneys will have more weight in any health and welfare decisions for you.
It is also important to organise the rest of your affairs before you lose capacity. An example of this is preparing or reviewing your Will which can only be completed by you whilst you have capacity to do so. The future is unpredictable and we do now know how life will affect us, but by putting your affairs in order now, no matter what comes your way, you can be confident that your loved ones will be able to give you the support that you need and that your wishes will be respected.
If you would like to start planning and putting some provisions in place, please get in touch with our Private Client Team.