SAD and ACD v SED (Unreported, case number 12791319 (4 November 2016) DJ Glentworth)

In a recent case Hugh Jones was appointed as deputy by a Judge following a contested hearing in which ultimately, the wishes of the incapacitated person, represented by us, were heard and prevailed. SED was represented by Hugh Jones and team members including Elizabeth Hughes.

The judgement of SAD (1) ACD (2) Applicants and SED Respondent, shows the sensitive nature of the issues often before the Court of Protection and the sympathetic judicial approach.

The Respondent, according to the accepted medical evidence, was suffering from Bipolar Affective Disorder and cognisant of that fact, SED had executed a Lasting Power of Attorney by which her daughters and mother were her attorneys. Some two years later, the Respondent sought to revoke the LPA. This was challenged by her daughters on the basis that the Respondent lacked capacity to make the revocation.

The Judge had written evidence from both parties and she spoke to the Respondent who explained her views and wishes. The Judge accepted that all parties in the case were acting in good faith and trying to do what was best for the Respondent.Whilst the Respondent had intended for her daughters and mother to take over conduct of her financial affairs in the event that she lacked capacity when she executed the LPA, in practice it did not work well, she was uncomfortable and there was family conflict, so she sought to revoke the LPA.

In considering all the evidence, much of it conflicting, the Judge decided to revoke the LPA and appointed Hugh Jones as deputy. The Judge took into account the Respondent’s expressed wishes and the fact that the Respondent “has spoken positively about the appointment of her chosen deputy because, at present, she has a good working relationship with Hugh Jones and the members of his team at HJTC”  A further factor in the relation to the decision was stated by the Judge “ I take into account the experience of the proposed deputy, the good relationship which has already been established and the skill which I know will be deployed to resolve problems in their relationship which may arise in the future”

The judgment received comment in a number of legal newsletters and is referred to in the updates for ‘The Court of protection Handbook’ Second Edition.