My father-in-law is selling his home and has agreed a price, but before anything could be signed he suffered a major stroke. He has no Power of Attorney. What should we do?
This will inevitably cause a delay in the sale. If your father does not have the necessary legal capacity to enter into a contract as a result of the stroke then you have no alternative other than to apply to the Office for the Public Guardian for the appointment of a Deputy to act on his behalf. This can take many weeks, inevitably causing a delay in the transaction. This cannot be helped. If your father simply becomes physically impaired as a result of the stroke, but is fully aware of what is happening and is clear as to his intention to sell the property, then he can appoint an Attorney to act on his behalf by drawing up a Lasting Power of Attorney. However, under the new LPA regulations this will only become effective once it is registered with the Office for the Public Guardian and again there can be a delay of some weeks before such registration is completed. Generally, the extent of the delay will depend of what provision, if any, your father had made prior to his suffering the stroke.
* Emyr Pierce is Managing Partner of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property. Contact www.emyrpierce.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org