It is often a demanding and confusing time when a friend or loved one loses their mental capacity. This should help provide some basic assistance and information regarding the power to give gifts on behalf of those who may no longer have the mental capacity to do so themselves.
A deputy is appointed to manage the financial affairs of a person who lacks mental capacity. In many cases, the incapacitated person needs support and care and this care is often provided by family members.
A property and affairs deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection to make financial decisions on behalf of a person who lacks mental capacity.
The deputy has a similar role to a trustee. They must keep the deputyship funds entirely separate from their own personal funds. They must keep proper records and accounts. The deputy’s powers are set out in the deputyship order and the deputy must ensure that they comply with the terms of that order.
It is quite common for the elderly and incapacitated to add a third party to their bank accounts so that someone can help them with their finances. They may appoint one of their adult children, because that person happens to live locally and visits often. They may appoint a friend, neighbour or carer.
They believe that they are simply adding a name to their account but the reality is that they are changing their sole account to a joint account. What they may not realise is that on death any money held in a joint account passes automatically to the joint owner whether you intended this to happen or not.