Buying, adapting and selling a property for someone who lacks capacity
The purchase or sale of property is often the biggest financial decision most people make in their lifetime. The same applies to any individual who lacks capacity but there is then the added complication of ensuring the deputy has the necessary authority to proceed.
When a deputy is appointed, the Court Order clearly defines the extent of his or her authority. It is frequently the case that there is a restriction in that Order preventing the purchase or sale of property without the specific authority of the Court. We regularly make applications to obtain this authority.
At the same time it is essential that this authority is obtained as quickly as possible as otherwise you may run the risk of losing the property. We understand these time pressures and we work alongside our Real Estate team to manage the transaction to a successful conclusion.
There can often be additional complications, particularly where the person lacking capacity is a joint owner of a property. In this situation they will be a trustee of that property and it is highly likely that a separate application under the Trustee Act 1925 will be necessary before any transfer of the property can go ahead.
Even when the property has been purchased there are likely to be other important issues to consider. Does it need adapting or extending to meet the needs of a disabled individual? The cost of adapting a property may be as much or more than the original purchase price. Ensuring you work with the right experts such as architects or surveyors is therefore just as important as buying the right property. We have many years’ experience of managing these projects either as the appointed deputy or alongside a family deputy.
Perhaps you are considering purchasing a second property as a holiday home, maybe even abroad. Although less common, the Court can authorise a deputy to buy property abroad but the process will inevitably be more complicated, particularly as you will also be dealing with a foreign legal system. We can assist you with the application to the Court of Protection and also draw upon our network of international legal contacts to ensure you obtain the right local, expert advice for where you want to buy.