L v NG [2015] EWCOP 34, [2015] MHLO 97

Headnote from judgment: "Application by the sister of NG to be appointed as his deputy for property and affairs together with her sons – Even if NG lacked capacity to manage his property and affairs it was not in his best interests to appoint a deputy to manage his property and affairs." The main part of the decision is the following: "Section 16(4) of the Act provides that when deciding whether it is in the relevant person's interests to appoint a deputy, the court must have regard to section 4 (best interests) and the principle that a decision by the court is to be preferred to the appointment of a deputy to make a decision. The fact that a person generally lacks capacity to manage their property and affairs does not automatically mean that it is in their best interests to appoint a deputy to manage their property and affairs. The best interests requirements of section 4 require the court to consider the wishes, feelings, beliefs and values of the person concerned. One of the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is that before the act is done, or the decision is made, regard must be had to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of the person's rights and freedom of action. On the evidence a deputyship order is either unnecessary or not in NG's best interests provided that a restriction is entered in the Land Registry requiring the court to authorise any dealings with his home. Any risks in respect of NG's other property and financial affairs which would be minimised by the appointment of a deputy are outweighed by the effect of such an order on his self-esteem, the resulting interference with his autonomy and the impact on family relationships. The sole purpose of the restriction is to act as a light touch safeguard. The court will only not authorise a proposed transaction if NG is being taken advantage of by a third party during a period of illness or is acting in a way that he will be likely to regret on recovering from a period of illness."

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