Someone who suffers an accident or falls ill could lose the ability to make decisions for themselves. This is a worrying and upsetting time for everyone concerned. If it’s someone you care about, you might start to wonder how you can safeguard them and their property on their behalf. But what does the legal process look like? What proof would the court need to see? And where do you start?
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets down certain principles for the treatment of people who may lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves. One is that everyone is assumed to be capable of making their own decisions until proven otherwise. Another is that everyone should be allowed to make decisions that seem unwise to others. But if you’re still worried that a loved one may lack mental capacity, you can ask them to attend an assessment. A range of professionals, including psychiatrists and solicitors, carry these out.
Our team of legal experts are on hand if you’ve got questions about mental capacity. We can explain the guidelines for establishing mental capacity and who might be able to carry out a formal assessment. We can also help you understand what could come after an assessment – such as an application to the Court of Protection for a deputy to be appointed to make decisions on behalf of the person concerned.
All advice contained within this section relates to England and Wales only.