Wards of Court

Where a person’s mental capacity becomes diminished to the point that they are incapable of managing their personal, financial and property affairs, and they have not created an Enduring Power of Attorney whilst having mental capacity, then a person, usually a family member, can make a Petition to the Wards of Court office to have the person made a Ward of Court.  This application will usually include a request for the family member to be made the Committee to the Ward if Wardship is granted by the President of the High Court.

The application must be supported by two affidavits of Consultant Geriatrician’s to state that the proposed Ward does not have the mental capacity to manage their affairs and that they are of unsound mind.  An Inquiry is sought by the Petitioner and a court appointed independent Consultant Geriatrician is engaged to attend with the Ward and carry out an assessment of the soundness or otherwise of the Ward’s mental capacity to manage their affairs.

Thereafter, a date is set to attend before the President of High Court to have the Ward brought into Wardship.  Once this occurs and Order is granted which allows the Committee deal with the affairs of the Ward and lodge assets into the Accountant’s office of the High Court.

All actions by the Committee on behalf of the Ward that have not previously been authorised by the Court must be brought to the attention of the Wards of Court office for further orders to be made by the Court.  Such applications are usually to do with selling the Wards property or discharging bills on behalf of the Ward.

An application to make a person a Ward of Court can be more costly and time consuming than the process of having an Enduring Power of Attorney created and registered. If a person with full mental capacity wishes to avoid being made a Ward of Court, they should attend to having an Enduring Power of Attorney prepared.

Case Study

A concerned client contacted our practise seeking legal advice in relation to an Aunt who was a Widow with no children and was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and was mentally incapacitated as a result and incapable of managing her affairs. We advised our client to make an application to have their Aunt made a Ward of Court and for them to be appointed as a Committee member.

The application was successful, and the person was made a Ward of Court and orders were made allowing her Committee to collect her assets and lodge them into the Accountants Office of the high Court and standing orders were set up to charge the costs of her nursing home care. Further orders were made to allow the Committee to open a bank account to the credit of the Ward and have her pension to be lodged and used to pay for her day to day personal care.

Should you have any queries in relation to any of the above please feel free to contact us on 01 8422919  or email us at info@lmc-law.ie