The Court of Protection is often used when a loved one has lost mental capacity.
Why apply to the Court of Protection?
You may need to submit an application to the Court of Protection if you have a loved one who has lost mental capacity. This could mean they have suffered a brain injury or a stroke, or may have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
In these instances, decisions may need to be made about their financial matters and if they do not have Lasting Powers of Attorney already in place, it is necessary for an application to be submitted to the Court of Protection in order to allow someone to become their Deputy.
What is a Deputy?
A Deputy is an individual who, once appointed, makes certain types of decisions on behalf of another individual who no longer has the mental capacity to make these decisions for themselves.
What types of decisions can a Deputy make?
There are two main categories over which a Deputy has the responsibility to make decisions. Very similar to the two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney, they are:
- Property and financial affairs
- Personal welfare
Who can become a Deputy?
The individual being appointed as a Deputy by the Court of Protection must be at least 18 years of age. Deputyship can be given to any of the following:
- A relative
- A friend
- A Solicitor
- Local Authority
- Another professional appointed by the Court
The process of becoming a Deputy.
The first step to becoming a Deputy is to have a number of forms completed and submitted to the Court of Protection. This includes a Medical Assessment form, which has to be completed by a doctor or social worker.
In some instances the final step to becoming a Deputy is to have a Court Hearing. It is a long and complex process, which means that having access to expert legal advice throughout is essential.
What happens once you have been appointed as a Deputy?
Once Deputyship is granted by the Court of Protection, you are then officially and legally authorised to make decisions on behalf of the individual you are acting for. This includes decisions about their health or their financial affairs. This could mean making a decision regarding their care or paying their bills for them.
One of the additional responsibilities of a Deputy is to file an annual Deputyship report to the Court of Protection. This provides a summary of accounts and provides details about the decisions you have made on the individual’s behalf.
If you need advice or support in order to become a Deputy or if you are looking for a Solicitor to act as a Deputy, we can assist you. To discuss your options and requirements, call us now on 0300 303 3629 or alternatively you can send us an enquiry using our contact form.
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