Deputyship Applications and The Court of Protection

When a person lacks the mental capacity to make a Lasting Power of Attorney, you can instead apply to become their deputy, where you will be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf.

There are two types of deputy: a property and financial affairs deputy and a personal welfare deputy.

Personal Welfare Deputy

You cannot become a person’s personal welfare deputy if they are under the age of 16. You will make decisions about their medical treatment and how they are looked after. The court will usually only appoint a personal welfare deputy where:

  • There is doubt as to whether decisions will be made in their best interests, e.g. around their care;
  • Someone needs to make a decision about a specific issue relating to the person over time, for example, where they will live.

 

Property and financial affairs deputy

You can become the property and financial affairs deputy for someone regardless of their age. You will pay their bills and organise their finances. An application to the Court of Protection is common in cases where the person is:

  • A minor with severe learning difficulties and is unlikely to manage their own finances during their lifetime;
  • An adult with a diagnosis of a condition which makes them unable to manage their own finances, e.g. dementia or a brain injury.

Who can apply?

A deputy must be aged 18 or over and is usually a close relative or friend, or in certain cases a professional such as a solicitor or accountant. Where there is more than one person applying, the application must specify whether you are applying to make decisions together (“jointly”) or individually as well as together (“jointly and severally”).

The application process:

Several forms need to be completed for the Court of Protection about the person’s assets, income and outgoings, including a form regarding their mental capacity that their medical practitioner. It usually takes 6 to 8 months for a final order to be issued, before which a bond must be paid.

Once a deputy is appointed, they will be required to submit a report to the Office of the Public Guardian regarding the person’s finances annually so a full record of all transactions must be kept.

We are happy to assist in any further applications to the court that are required, e.g. relating to property ownership, Wills or lifetime gifts.

For further information on costs, or general advice on the Deputyship application process, please click here to contact us directly.

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