Loss of Mental Capacity
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Loss of mental capacity
In situations where an individual does not have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and loses their mental capacity to look after their affairs, a deputy will need to be put in place to deal with the individual’s personal needs.
Often, these situations can occur without warning. For instance, if the person was involved in a road traffic accident, suffered from an unexpected illness, or was born with special needs.
What is considered to be a mental incapacity?
The law indicates that a person has a lack of mental capacity when they cannot:
- understand the information relevant to the decision;
- retain that information;
- use or weigh that information as part of the process of making the decision; or
- communicate their decision (whether by talking, using sign language or any other means).
Who can be a deputy, and what is their role?
The Mental Capacity Court authorises a deputy to manage the mentally incapacitated person’s medical, personal welfare, and financial needs.
To be authorised as a deputy by the Mental Capacity Court, you must be:
- at least 21 years of age;
- not bankrupt; and
- of sound mind.
The deputy can be a family member, friend, or a trusted person.
Will the deputy be supervised?
Yes, supervision of the deputy will be carried out by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). This ensures the person with a mental incapacity receives the appropriate care.
PKWA Law is here to assist and advise on these matters to give you a better understanding of how to deal with the care of an individual who has a mental incapacity and requires the appointment of a deputy.
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