Mental capacity

One in three people will experience a problem at some point during their lifetime; in any one year, 19% of us will suffer from an anxiety disorder, 13% from a substance problem, and 7% from depression.

'The scandal of common mental illnesses left untreated' article in The Guardian
Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman

 

With an ageing population and an increasing awareness of mental health problems, many individuals as well as family members and businesses are turning their minds to the legal, personal and practical issues which arise in relation to mental capacity.

Each case is unique to the individuals involved and their circumstances, and every situation requires sensitive handling and discretion. We work closely with individuals and their family members to find pragmatic solutions in challenging circumstances, many involving an international dimension.

Protecting vulnerable individuals

We are a compassionate team, who regularly advise vulnerable people, the elderly, their carers and families, trustees, colleagues and other professional advisers involved on the legal issues facing those with mental capacity issues. These can include addiction problems, dementia, Alzheimer’s, mental illness or mental impairment of another form as well as physical disability arising from stroke, heart attacks or accidents.

We have extensive experience of handling contentious Court of Protection matters. On the non-contentious side our work includes advising clients of all ages on lifetime gifts and Living Wills with complex jurisdictional and commercial issues as well as LPAs, particularly where individuals have directorships, trusteeships and other responsibilities.

Recent work highlights:

  • Our Employment and Family Team successfully argued that a client's family was not entitled to report his sex addiction to his employers.
  • We are assisting a client suffering from Alzheimer’s with his majority shareholding in the family property company. We have prepared two separate LPAs for property and financial affairs in order to deal with the shareholding effectively. We also advised on an LPA for health and welfare and are dealing with his trusteeship of shares and his directorship in the family company.
  • Putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for an adult with severe autism and advising his family on his move out of London to protect him. A real success story - the individual is now thriving with his own business and living independently. We are also advising his family on appropriate trusts for their wills and lifetime giving to protect his interests whilst giving appropriate autonomy to him.
  • Cross-disciplinary advice to a high profile UK resident non-UK domiciled individual who suffered from severe drug addictions. The physical and mental vulnerability of the client required us to provide an increased level of support. The advice was primarily in connection with substantial offshore family trusts and the sale and purchase of London property.
  • Acting for the Deputy responsible for the management of a large and complex estate on estate planning, inheritance tax planning, employment issues and applications to the Court of Protection as well as the conduct of litigation on behalf of the patient.

Should you have any concerns about your own clients or any further questions, then please contact a member of the core team at: mentalcapacitygroup@farrer.co.uk. The Law Society has published a Practice Note for advisers which may be of use and can be found here.

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For more information contact one of our specialist advisers above or email us at enquiries@farrer.co.uk.

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