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Take action now to avoid finding yourself in a #FreeBritney situation

American singer and song-writer Britney Spears shot to fame in 1999 following a string of successful musical hits and soon Spears became a household name recognised globally for her musical achievements.

However, following her divorce in 2006, Spears suffered a highly publicised mental health crisis, which resulted in her father being appointed as her conservator for her personal life and her finances.

Thirteen years later, Britney Spears is still under the financial Conservatorship Guardianship meaning she cannot make any of her own personal, professional, or financial decisions herself without her father’s approval.

The BBC has recently reported “Britney Spears’ lawyer previously told the court, as part of an application to remove Spears’ father as a conservator, that Spears was scared of her father and would not be returning to the stage while he remained “in control of her life”.

Spears’ fans have launched the #FreeBritney movement in support, and to raise the profile for her to regain autonomy over her finances.  The campaign is gaining momentum, but it will be for the court to decide the continuing legal battle.

Whilst in England we do not have conservatorships like in America, it is still important to put legal documents in place to ensure you have people you trust and with whom you feel comfortable, acting on your behalf should you be unable to make decisions yourself for a limited or an indefinite period of time.

What can I do to protect myself?

In England you can put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney whilst you are alive and well to stipulate who you would like to assist you and make decisions for you if you are unable to yourself.

There are two different types of Lasting Powers of Attorney – one for Property and Financial Affairs and one for Health and Welfare.

You choose the person/people you would like to assist you and act for you should you find yourself unable to make decisions.

You choose the instructions and the preferences you would like your Attorneys to follow to ensure your wishes are followed out.

If something were to happen whereby you find yourself in a position where you lose mental capacity and you do not have Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, anyone can apply to be your Deputy under a Deputyship Order through the Court of Protection.  It is advisable to try to avoid this situation by putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place so you have the opportunity to decide who you would like to make decisions for you if necessary

For more information about Lasting Powers of Attorney and what to do if you are concerned about planning for the future; or if a loved one is having difficult making decisions for themselves; please contact specialist advisers at Barrett and Co Solicitors by telephoning 0118 958 9711 or by emailing [email protected] and someone from the team will be in touch to assist you.

Juliette Spanner, ACILEx in the Private Client Department at Barrett and Co.

Further Reading:

Probate…first things first!

Can my Will be challenged?

Parental Alienation – what is it and how you can you identify it?

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Get in Touch

Juliette Spanner is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and works in the Private Client department at Barrett & Co.

If you would like to get in touch with Juliette or have a question for her regarding her area of work, please email her at [email protected] or call her on 0118 958 9711.

"barrettandco" and "Barrett & Co" are trading names of Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP, a Limited Liability Partnership incorporated in England and Wales under registration number OC356263, with registered office at Salisbury House, 54 Queens Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4AZ. Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority www.sra.org.uk (SRA Number 549694).

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