Increased protection of vulnerable people’s estates during legal battles
Under current rules, legal costs in disputes over an incapacitated person’s property affairs or care are generally paid out of their estate.
A public consultation paper is being drafted by the Court of Protection Rules Committee which apparently shows that the Court of Protection is considering giving judges more power to make family members cover these costs. The reforms, which will aim to give greater protection to vulnerable people, would offer the opportunity in extreme cases to award costs against deputies who abuse the estate of an incapacitated individual.
Emily Deane, technical counsel at The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), said “In these cases, the court should have the capability to order the parties to pay their own costs and subsequently, appoint a third-party deputy to act in their place. This capability would give vulnerable people more protection whilst bringing wasteful legal actions, at the expense of the innocent party, to a halt.”
The date for the consultation has not yet been announced. We will post updates on our website when the date is set and the committee provides more information.
This story was first reported in the Law Society Gazette on 30 March 2016. Click here to read the original article.
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