New legislation is helping families gain easier access to funds to pay care home fees and other outgoings for their loved ones.
Over recent months, experts from Shropshire law firm mfg solicitors have been providing increasingly growing support for those making financial and property-related deputyship applications.
The new legislation, introduced in January, allows for financial-only deputyship applications to be conducted online which has effectively halved the process from 12 months to six, taking pressure off families in often stressful times, and easing the burden on local councils.
Legal changes to the process allow financial applications to be submitted and paid for online as long as three people who know the person affected by the application - such as relatives, a social worker or doctor - are notified in advance.
Nansi Webb, a senior associate within mfg's Private Client department said the changes were already proving successful.
She said: ”We are currently helping a large amount of people with their financial and property-related applications and are definitely finding the new process far faster, more effective and straightforward, including the IT system where everything must be logged.
”The new system for financial applications means we have to assemble the information and notify all required persons at the time of making the application. The old system required the application to be issued by the Court first before parties were notified, and this notification stage could slow the application process down. So, it really has been a step change.
“We’ve not encountered any pitfalls with the new process so far, and long may that continue as its speed really is making lives easier for thousands.”
Ms Webb added that mfg Solicitors, which has offices in Telford and Ludlow, also offer a sought-after financial deputyship service where they act as professional deputies when no one is able to take on the role among the person’s family and friends.
People must apply to the Court of Protection to appoint, change or remove a Deputy or Deputies if a loved one has lost the mental capacity to make their own decisions and they don’t have a Power of Attorney in place.