It is a regular occurrence in the senior population to suffer a diminishing of mental capacity later in life, which could lead to the senior citizen finding it difficult to make decisions for him/herself. In this scenario, he/she can appoint a deputy to make important decisions on his/her behalf, provided that the deputy is someone who can be trusted to always act in the best interests of the senior citizen.
The decisions covered by deputyships can be divided into two categories – property/financial affairs and personal welfare. The former category is far more common than the latter and any person appointed as a deputy must prove to the relevant authority that they have the competency for such an important position. A person with a history of fiscal difficulty is very unlikely to be approved for the role of a property and financial affairs deputy.
Anyone appointed to the role of a deputy must not abuse their position to exploit the senior citizen for personal gain and must always act in good faith. Just because they have been granted the authority to make decisions on another person’s behalf does not allow them to treat that person like a personal plaything.
This infographic from I Will Solicitors (http://www.iwillsolicitors.com/) gives a very simple guide to the important and at time complex topic of deputyships, an option that could be worth pursuing if an elderly relative has lost his/her mental capacity.