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(Court of Protection, Senior Judge Denzil Lush, 28 January 2013)
When the man suffered a heart attack and a stroke he became temporarily incapacitated and unable to conduct his affairs which were both urgent and complicated. Some months prior to his illness the man appointed a long-standing friend and business associate as his attorney under an ordinary power of attorney and when he became aware of the man's condition he applied to be appointed as his property and affairs deputy.
His current wife opposed the application, contending that she should be appointed deputy instead. Under his will the man made no provision for the wife on the basis that he had already made substantial provision for her. The primary beneficiaries were his former wife and two daughters. They supported the friend in his application.
The judge granted the friend's application and appointed him as property and affairs deputy. The discretion to appoint a deputy was exercised judicially in the person's best interests. While the authorities generally acknowledged an order of preference with spouses being primary candidates, the court would not automatically appoint them. In taking into account the man's wishes that his friend should look after his affairs and the unanimous view of other parties who were close to him, the appointment of his friend was in his best interests.
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