Mental health issues are becoming increasingly prevalent in the UK and more action needs to be taken to protect individuals and to help their families

Footballer detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act

On 30 April 2017 it is reported that Aaron Lennon, who plays football for Everton and is a former England international player, was sectioned and detained under the Mental Health Act by Greater Manchester Police.
 

Sadly, mental health issues are becoming increasingly prevalent in the UK. Whilst most people think of Dementia or other brain diseases when they consider mental health issues, it is sometimes overlooked that young people can also struggle with their mental health. In Lennon’s instance it is reported that he was suffering from a stress-related illness and is currently undergoing treatment for this.
 

Of course, mental health issues can affect anyone, at any time, but more action still needs to be taken to protect individuals and to help their families should a mental health issue arise.
 

Legal deeds known as ‘Lasting Powers of Attorney’ (LPAs) can help protect you and your family against a loss of mental capacity as you can nominate trusted friends or family members to represent you should you lose mental capacity in the future. The people you choose will become your ‘attorneys’ and will be able to assist with managing your financial affairs together with making decisions about your personal welfare, if you are unable to make those decisions at the relevant time in the future.
 

Were you to lose mental capacity in the future and not have these documents in place, your loved ones may struggle to manage your assets and your care. This only serves to make an already stressful and upsetting time worse.
 

If you were to lose mental capacity in the future and have no LPAs already in place, one of your family or friends (you will have no power to choose who) may apply to the Court of Protection to ask for permission to manage your affairs for you. This process takes many months and is expensive. It is often hard for your loved ones to make this application and can be frustrating for them when they find it could have been avoided by you making LPAs before you lost mental capacity.
 

Brachers recommends that all adults should have Lasting Powers of Attorney to protect themselves and their loved ones in the future should they ever have future issues with their mental capacity. Contact the Brachers’ Private Client team today to discuss putting these invaluable documents in place.

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