Jane (42) has an elderly mother Gracie (late 70s) who suffers from dementia. At the instigation of some well-intentioned social worker, the Guardianship Tribunal has been requested to conduct an inquiry into Gracie’s affairs with a view to making financial management orders and appointing a guardian or attorney to act for Gracie in all aspects of her life (both financial and personal). Jane now has to convince the members of the Tribunal that even though Gracie suffers from dementia, she still has the capacity to appoint her own guardian and attorney and that the helpful intervention of the Tribunal is not required.
All of this could have been avoided had Gracie (at a time before the onset of dementia when her mental capacity was not in doubt), consulted a solicitor to put in place (at a very modest cost) an Enduring Power of Attorney and an Appointment of Enduring Guardian appointing a family member (Jane) as her attorney and guardian. Although the hearing before the Tribunal may result in the same outcome, there is no guarantee and it may be weeks before the Tribunal makes a decision.