Mental Capacity Assessment - COP3 for Application to the Court of Protection for Deputyship Case Study
Rose is a fiercely independent 84 year old woman. Before retiring, Rose worked as a childminder, and having been widowed for many years, enjoyed a close network of friends in her village, and her hobby was crocheting. After experiencing a significant stroke in 2016, Rose was determined to return home from hospital, and with the support of her loving son, and a large package of care she was discharged home once more.
A team of carers attended four times each day, and her son, Simon supported her with grocery shopping, organising Rose's medical appointments, and looking after her bills.
Rose had two good years of living at home. Despite spending most of her time in a hospital bed in her living room, Rose enjoyed the regular chats with the carers, had regular visits from good friends, and at weekends Simon would also bring her grandchildren. Simon would pop in most days, and the pair would enjoy a fish shop dinner together every Friday.
However in 2019, Rose began experiencing increasing numbers of urine infections. Simon would call round to see her and find her to be confused, anxious or hallucinating as a result of recurring infections. Additionally, the extended amounts of time in her hospital bed, and a loss of ability to reposition herself without the carers, had led to Rose developing some serious bed sores.
In early 2021, Rose had four hospital admissions due to infections and acute confusion in a short amount of time. Treatments for the infections were no longer improving, and it became clear to all that she had lost mental capacity about where and how her care needs were met, and that her needs now exceeded what could be met at home. Rose had never got around to setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney, and consequently the hospital social work team made a decision, in her best interests, to discharge her to a nursing home.
Simon found this period of time incredibly stressful; bills were pilling up at Rose's address, and urgent repairs were required on Rose's property in order to place it on the market to pay the nursing home fees. Without legal authority to deal with Rose's financial affairs, Simon's hands were tied. He couldn’t access Rose's savings to complete property repairs or put the house up for sale. Simon commented how he had wished he had had a conversation with Rose about Power of Attorney.
Simon found a really helpful and supportive solicitor who recommended that he apply to become a Deputy for Rose, with the Court of Protection. Simon simply had to obtain a Mental Capacity Assessment for the COP3 paperwork. Two months later, and multiple emails and phone calls to the GP practice, only to find they were just too busy to help.
The Solicitor instead recommended that Rose's case be referred to Thornton & Lee , who within 48 hours of the referral, completed a face-to-face C0P3 Mental Capacity Assessment with Rose. Simon could finally rest easy knowing that he had got Deputyship and could get all of Rose's financial affairs in order, access funds to repair the property, before placing it on the market for sale.
Simon told us that nothing compared to knowing that Rose was safe and happy in the nursing home, and that he could continue to pay the fees and secure her a place there to live out her days.
Mental Capacity Assessment – Entering into Lasting Power of Attorney Case Study
Frank grew up and spent his working life in Grimsby, starting on the lines in a factory in the fishing town, before progressing to a senior position in the factory before his retirement. Frank was very proud of his long service for the factory, and the many great times he had had with his factory colleagues both inside and outside of work.
Frank had been very happily married to Lou who he met as a teenager in the local fish and chip shop. Together, Frank and Lou had two daughters Sally and Joanne, and the family shared wonderful holidays together whilst the girls were young. Sally and Joanne didn’t share the same affection for Grimsby that Frank did, and after going to university Sally resettled in Leister, whilst Joanne married young and followed her husband’s career around the county before eventually settling in London.
Shortly after Franks retirement Lou sadly developed early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Frank was committed to caring for Lou at home until the end. Unfortunately, as Frank didn’t hold Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare, the decision maker for making decisions around Lou’s care ultimately fell to the Local Authority. This was a difficult time for Frank, as he didn’t always feel listened to by his Local Authority Social Worker regarding what he felt was in Lou’s best interests. After two years of looking after Lou at home, Frank reluctantly agreed to allow the Local Authority to move Lou into a nursing home, where she passed away a short while afterwards.
Frank decided after Lou’s death how important it was to him that people who knew him well make decisions regarding his health and welfare, consequently instructing his Solicitor to draw up a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney naming daughters Sally and Joanne as his Attorney’s.
9 years later at 76 years of age, Frank suffered a series of infections, resulting in multiple hospital admissions. Due to the acute infections, Frank developed delirium, and over a 6-month period of time in 2021, he experienced several falls at home, his mobility temporarily impaired by the delirium, which was also leading Frank to feel quite confused and forgetful during this period.
Sally and Joanne began arguing about what they felt would be Franks best interest. Sally believed that Frank’s needs would be best met in a residential home, where as Joanne began placing pressure on Frank to move into her home in London, so that she could be sure ‘he was safe’. As Frank’s delirium began to resolve his thinking was becoming clearer once more. Whilst he was willing to accept some help in his home, he didn’t want to move into residential care, nor did he wish to leave his home and move to London. Although his confusion had settled, his daughters’ views had not, and continued to argue between themselves, and individually pressuring Frank to see their perspective.
The arguments between his daughters were causing Frank a great deal of sadness and stress, and so he made an appointment with his Solicitor to discuss his options. The Solicitor suggested revoking the current Lasting Power of Attorney and entering into a new Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney with the Solicitor appointed as a Professional Attorney, along with recording on the new Lasting Power of Attorney Frank’s own wishes and preference for current and future care.
Thornton & Lee were instructing to complete a Mental Capacity assessment for entering into a new Lasting Power of Attorney, due to the recent confusion Frank had experienced whilst his delirium had been resolving. Our Assessor had no hesitation in concluding that Frank had mental capacity, and Frank expressed how grateful he was for being given the space to be heard and listened to by both the Solicitor and our Assessor, along the peace of mind that now he knew his preferences for his care both now and in the future would be respected. Frank tells us harmony has also been restored to his family now, since the responsibility of making future decisions for his health and welfare have been removed from his daughters and onto the Solicitor who he trusts to carry out his wishes.
Testamentary Capacity Assessment – Entering into a new Will Case Study
Nancy was born in Birmingham, and along with sister Norah, had very happy memories of family life growing up in the Lichfield area. During a night out to the cinema together in her early 20’s, sister Norah met a kind man, later marrying and moving away to the Norfolk coastal town of Cromer.
Nancy remained in the Lichfield area, and finding herself very good with figures, decided to study accountancy. Nancy had a wonderfully successful career as an accountant, going from strength to strength in her working life. During the next 25 years whilst Nancy excelled in her career, she also found herself to be skilled at purchasing property to be rented out in her local area. By her 55th birthday, Nancy had accumulated a portfolio of 8 rental properties, most of which were mortgage free, in addition to also owning her own lovely home.
A sociable and personable woman, Nancy had many wonderful friends, but had never seemed to be in the right place at the right time, as far as romance was concerned, and hadn’t settled down to have a family like her sister Norah. Although she enjoyed many joyful breaks to Cromer over the years to spend time with Norah and her growing family of nieces and nephews, who gave Nancy an enormous amount of love and joy.
Soon before turning 60 years of age, by chance after missing her usual bus home from the office, Nancy ran into Matthew. A short courtship occurred, and quite taken with him, Nancy accepted a marriage proposal from the charming Matthew after he swept her away to Rome for a romantic weekend around 3 months post their chance meeting.
Two years after the wedding Nancy felt disillusioned and low by her life with Matthew after his gambling problems came to light, and after he had proceeded to repeatedly drain the couples joint bank accounts, paying off gambling debts. Things with Matthew came to a head after Nancy discovered messages to another woman on his mobile telephone, and she instinctively fled to Norah’s home in Cromer to consider her options.
Some time after arriving at Norah’s home, Nancy collapsed early one morning after becoming suddenly dizzy and was rushed to hospital. Unfortunately, a series of tests in hospital revealed the unthinkable, that Nancy had a tumour growing on her brain which was terminal. Under the love and care of Norah and her family, Nancy made the decision to move in with Norah and her husband, so that she could spend her last few months surrounded by love and support.
Shortly afterwards Nancy contacted a Solicitor as she felt strongly that she wished to have her affairs in order, to include separating everything that she could away from the frivolous clutches of Matthew. Nancy felt strongly that when the time came for her to die, that she wanted her nieces and nephews to benefit from her estate as young and loyal family members who could benefit from a springboard financially, and not Matthew.
Nancy’s Solicitor instructed an Assessor from Thornton & Lee to attend to Nancy at Norah’s home to complete a testamentary capacity assessment, advising Nancy a robust report to be filed with her Will would help repute any potential challenges to her new Will by Matthew, or anybody else in the future. The Assessor spent time with Nancy listening to what was important to her, including her wishes for how she intended to divide her estate upon her death between her nieces and nephews’, and her motivation for who she had chosen to include, and those she had chosen to exclude as beneficiaries of her new Will. The Assessor compiled a court standard Testamentary report promptly and efficiently, returning this to the representing Solicitor so that should Nancy’s health decline more rapidly, all her affairs would be in order, and Nancy could be assured that her wishes would be honoured.