Benefit entitlements for disabled people – Personal Independence Payments
Our Personal Affairs team in action
We were first alerted to Mrs X’s situation by a concerned social service care worker. Mrs X was living alone and her husband, her only close relative, had recently died, leaving her isolated and unable to cope with her financial affairs. Mrs X is suffering from dementia and was fretting about how she was going to manage on her own. The suggestion was made to Mrs X about moving into residential care but she made quite it clear she wanted to remain in her own home, albeit with the assistance of daily visits from a carer, arranged by the Local Authority.
On investigation, we discovered Mrs X’s financial situation was complicated as her husband had died intestate and the application for a grant of letters of administration had not been applied for. As such, it soon became apparent that although Mrs X was the sole beneficiary of her husband’s estate under the intestacy rules and she had her own bank account, she did not have immediate access to funds for day-to-day living. She was unable to get to the bank on her own, no-one had authority to access her bank account on her behalf (as she did not have a Lasting Power of Attorney) and she had of course yet to receive what was due to her from her husband’s estate.
Our immediate concern was making sure that Mrs X had enough to eat and a local food delivery company was immediately contacted to begin a daily delivery of hot meals. At the same time, members of our Private Client team contributed items of both fresh and non-perishable food and these were delivered to Mrs X in two large boxes to tide her over the weekend, until the delivery of meals began.
Going forward, Brachers has made an urgent application to the Court of Protection for an order which will allow Brachers to manage Mrs X’s financial affairs on a day to day basis and a grant in her husband’s estate is being applied for. This will mean that in the future, Brachers, together with social services, can ensure all Mrs X needs are met and that she can remain safe and secure in her own home for as long as possible.
For further information on Court of Protection applications or for assistance with the management of personal affairs, please contact Christine Bass.
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