Someone close to you may no longer have the capacity to manage their affairs, due to an accident or illness. If they have not made a Lasting Power of Attorney, it may be necessary for the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy to make decisions in their best interests about issues such as finance, property and healthcare. Deputyship is usually granted to a friend, relative or carer of the person whom they are assisting, or to a professional, such as a solicitor.
How can we help with deputyship applications?
We understand that an application to become a Court of Protection deputy can be complicated and stressful. Our specialist deputyship solicitors will guide you through the process.
What is the deputyship application process?
Various forms must be completed in order to provide information to the Court of Protection regarding the circumstances of the person, including their finances if you are applying to be their Property and Financial Affairs Deputy, or supporting information regarding decisions that need to be taken if you are applying for Personal Welfare Deputyship. These forms can take a considerable amount of time to complete and it is important to give the Court all relevant information in order to prevent delays in the application process.
When applying for deputyship, an assessment of capacity must also be completed to confirm that the person does not have the mental capacity to manage their affairs.
How long does it take to become a deputy?
Once we have met with you and obtained the relevant details for the application, we will prepare the necessary forms for you to approve and sign. We will also arrange for the assessment of capacity to be completed by an appropriate healthcare professional.
The deputyship application is then submitted to the Court. The time period for applications to be considered by a judge is approximately 3-6 months, although matters can be expedited if there is a significant need to do so, such as selling a property.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows a person to appoint someone else to manage either their finances or make health and welfare decisions on their behalf, should they lose the capacity to make such decisions on their own. That person is called an attorney.
However, once someone loses capacity, they cannot make an LPA or appoint an attorney. If that occurs, the can appoint one or more people to act as the person’s deputy.
A person can have different deputies to deal with their health and welfare and financial decisions. However, in some cases, the same person (or people) may be appointed to act in both roles.
The order from the Court of Protection will clearly set out your powers as deputy. Property and Financial Affairs powers will normally include:
- Operating bank accounts and managing investments
- Claiming state benefits and collecting in other income due
- Dealing with income tax and other tax matters
- Paying bills
A deputy cannot sell property unless the Court has specifically given that power in an order.
If you have applied for Personal Welfare powers, the power the Court gives will depend on the needs of the person and the Court’s decision. The Court is reluctant to appoint a deputy unless there is a series of linked welfare decisions to be made.
Personal Welfare powers may include:
- Where the person should live and with whom
- Decisions on day-to-day care, including diet and dress
- Consenting to routine medical or dental examination and treatment on the person’s behalf
The application to become a deputy can be made by anyone (aged 18 or over) who is concerned with protecting the interests of the person with mental incapacity. This is usually a close relative or family friend, but can also be a professional, such as a solicitor. The applicant may need permission from the Court to apply to become a deputy if they want to be able to make decisions about the client’s personal welfare.
Contact us for clear and expert guidance on applications to the Court of Protection and the responsibilities of acting as deputy.
Deputies should be able to work together, so it is important that the right people are appointed and that they understand their role and duties.
Deputies can either be appointed to act jointly, where they have to both agree about any decisions that they are required to make, or they can also be appointed to act jointly and severally. This means they can either make decisions on their own or together. That can be useful if decisions need to be made in one deputy’s absence.
You will need to apply to the Court of Protection. This involves completing forms, providing information to the Court and following a procedure. There are also court fees involved.
Members of our specialist Court of Protection Team act as deputies and they can advise you about the deputyship process.
If you would arrange like a free initial 30-minute telephone consultation, please contact us via the form on this page or by telephone.