The complexity of the law relating to people of diminished mental capacity has long been a bone of contention and, with an ageing population, the courts are being increasingly tied up with mental capacity issues.
One of the most problematic areas is that of the deprivation of liberty of a person who needs to have care provided in a hospital or care home. Deprivation of liberty is never undertaken lightly and a regime called the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) exists which requires a deprivation of liberty to be authorised by the Court of Protection.
The Law Commission has recently published its interim statement on the DoLS system, which has been widely criticised as being overly complex and excessively bureaucratic and which was described by the Select Committee of the House of Lords as being unfit for purpose. In addition, far ...
Beneficiaries often have to wait for many years after a person’s death to inherit under a will – but to what extent do they have a right to be kept informed of what is being done with the relevant funds in the interim? The High Court gave important guidance on that thorny issue in the context of a charitable gift.
By her will, a woman placed her estate, which was then valued at about £145,000, in trust for the benefit of her son and daughter-in-law during their lifetimes. Upon their deaths, the trust fund was to pass to a number of charities. The daughter-in-law remained alive so that the charities had thus far received nothing from the estate.
However, the charities argued that the executors of the will were obliged to account to them in respect of their management of the ...