Weekly Thoughts 10 September

I write to you today about this topic below because there are three or four clients dealing with this in one way or another right now: Power of Attorney and Curatorship of Estate.

A number of people might have Power of Attorney over someone. In particular, we might do this to help an aging family member deal with the admin of their lives. If I have your POA for example, and I go into the bank to do an administrative transaction for you, the banker has the right to phone you and say, “Mr or Mrs So and So, did you give POA to Kevin Murray? Are you happy that the POA documents in his possession are from you and are valid and may we continue under his instruction on your behalf?” You need to have the full mental capacity to understand this and to respond saying “Yes”. Or indeed No, if it was incorrect or not meeting with your approval.

However, from the day that you no longer have the full mental capacity to back up your POA on the phone because of some or other mental illness, the POA becomes invalid. A family member, or someone, needs to now go to court to apply for Curatorship of Estate, which gives you the ability to completely manage that person’s affairs. You have now been appointed by the court to do just that. It can be an expensive and slow process to get through, but it’s what is required.