The Court of Protection is considering giving judges greater ability to make family members cover the legal costs in disputes they bring over an incapacitated person’s property, affairs or care.
Currently, the incapacitated person pays these costs out of their assets (except in certain circumstances where a judge can depart from this).
A public consultation paper is being drafted by the Court of Protection Rules Committee, although it is not yet known when this might be ready.
The idea of this shift appears to be to discourage family members from bringing wasteful legal actions at the expense of the incapacitated person by giving Judges discretion to order that parties pay their own costs. If this goes ahead, it will be interesting to see how the Court uses this discretion and how they distinguish between the genuine and questionable claims accordingly.
If you would like more information about how this might affect you, then please contact Georgina Roberts.