Elder Law: Law Commission to Consult the Public on Capacity Issues

July 8th, 2014 by Lauren Blumas

Making decisions on behalf of an elderly family member as he or she becomes incapable of doing so is a familiar issue for many of our clients. This is particularly fragile territory for housing providers as their tenant and member populations age. They have the tough job of working with tenants and members and their families as the issue of incapacity arises. This can lead to major conflict, some of which ends up in the courts.

Part of the problem here is the legislation which governs substitute decision making. The legal landscape is incredibly difficult to navigate and is made up of a number of interacting pieces of legislation. With an aging population, there has been mounting support for a call for reform.

Recently, the Law Commission released a discussion paper on legal capacity, decision‑making and guardianship which included numerous recommendations “for reform to law, policy and practice in this area”. The report is just over 350 pages long and flags key issues related to the assessment and definition of capacity, elder abuse, substitute decision‑making and dispute resolution.

Interested in sharing your experiences? The Law Commission has put a call out for feedback. You can find the link to the table of contents here.  Look for the details for providing your feedback here.

Filed in: Elder Law

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