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Court of Protection Deputyship
The loss of mental capacity is always a cause of significant stress for individuals and their loved ones, whether this occurs due to age-related conditions, a traumatic injury or some other illness. When this happens, it may be necessary to appoint another individual to make decisions on the affected person’s behalf, in order to ensure their financial affairs are properly looked after in all eventualities.
Appointing a deputy through the Court of Protection is one of the most common ways to achieve this, providing the elderly or ill individual with the security of knowing someone is looking after their best interests. The process of applying to become a deputy can be time-consuming, with a number of forms that need to be filled in correctly, which is why it is best to seek legal advice on how this process works.
At JMW Solicitors, we can provide you with expert guidance on all aspects of deputyship and the functioning of the Court of Protection. Call us on 0345 872 6666 today, or fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back.
How JMW Can Help
The wills, trusts and estate planning team at JMW Solicitors is one of the most respected in the sector, meaning we can provide you with advice on your deputyship queries, backed up by a strong understanding of the legal issues you will be facing.
We can advise you on all aspects on how to complete the process, from preparing the paperwork to briefing the selected deputy on their responsibilities, and can responsively answer any questions you might have throughout the process.
We can also act as a professional deputy if there are no family or friends able or willing to act.
JMW has been recognised in the prestigious Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners guides on numerous occasions, with Chambers noting that we place “the uppermost value on building close working relationships” with our clients.
Our solicitors have given regular seminars on wills, trusts, Inheritance Tax and estate planning, and several are also members of the highly-respected Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and fully accredited members of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE). As such, you can feel certain that the advice you are receiving from us aligns with industry best practice.
What does ‘Court of Protection’ mean?
The Court of Protection is the superior court of record that oversees matters relating to the property, financial affairs and personal welfare of individuals who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.
It was established under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and is responsible for appointing deputies to make ongoing decisions for people who lack mental capacity, as well as handling one-off decisions about the wellbeing of these individuals when necessary.
What is the difference between Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection deputyship?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is granted through a legal document, allowing one individual to personally nominate another to make legal and financial decisions on their behalf in the future. Court of Protection deputyship is used when the person in question has already lost the mental capacity to grant a power of attorney, and another person has to request the ability from the Court to handle their affairs.
It is usually preferable for the person receiving care and support to grant an LPA while they are still able to do so, as the process is usually quicker, cheaper and more controlled. However, deputyship is a useful and often necessary fallback when an LPA is no longer possible.
Who can become a deputy?
To be eligible to become a deputy, it is necessary to be aged 18 or over, and to have the skills necessary to make decisions for someone else. Deputies are usually close relatives or friends of the person who needs help, but in some cases, it could be preferable for the deputy to be a paid professional, such as a solicitor, an accountant, or another court-appointed representative.
It is possible for one person to have two or more deputies, in which case they will be able to determine in advance with the Court of Protection whether their decisions will be made jointly or individually.
What are the main responsibilities of a deputy?
There are two main types of deputyship - property and affairs deputyship, and personal welfare deputyship. The former focuses on managing a person’s financial affairs for them, while the latter involves making decisions about their care.
In both cases, deputies will be expected to consider the best interests and past actions of the individual they are representing and make decisions that reflect this, while doing all they can to help the person in question to understand the decision. They must not take advantage of their position or hold any money or property in their own name on the person’s behalf.
Once a person is appointed, they will receive support from the Office of the Public Guardian in carrying out their responsibilities, and will continue as a deputy until the court order is changed, cancelled or expires.
Talk to Us
If you are looking for a solicitor to further explain the deputyship and Court of Protection processes, contact JMW today. Call us on 0345 872 6666, or fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back.