Court of Protection Deputyship Explained
There are many reasons why a person in your life may no longer be able to manage their own financial affairs. Or make informed decisions about their personal welfare.
When this happens it is called “loss of mental capacity”. Illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other forms of Dementia can often be the cause of someone losing the ability to make their own decisions.
If this happens to you or someone in your family and a Lasting Power of attorney for Property & Financial affairs or Health & Welfare has not previously been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Then in order to take control of your loved one or family member’s affairs, you need to apply to the court of protection to become a Deputy.
A Deputy is responsible for the vulnerable person’s decisions about issues like property and finance. And occasionally healthcare. Deputyship is usually given to a close family member or friend or to a professional and must be applied for through the Court of Protection.
Court of Protection & Deputies Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Court of Protection do?
The Court of Protection makes decisions on applications which involve people who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions.
Who needs a Court of Protection Deputyship?
When a friend or loved one has lost their ability to manage their own financial affairs. (often referred to as the loss of mental capacity), the Court of Protection appoints someone to do this on their behalf.
This person is known as a Deputy and is given the authority to manage the day to day financial affairs of the person who has lost the mental capacity.
It is important to remember that someone may be able to make decisions about everyday issues. Like what to eat or what to watch on television but can lack the mental capacity to make decisions on more complex issues, like financial management.
What is an Appointee?
If the incapacitated person does not have savings or property in excess of £5,000. And their only income is pension or state benefits, then a Deputyship Order will not be proportionate to their needs.
Instead, it would be more appropriate to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to become an appointee for the incapacitated person.
Applying to become an Appointee means you are applying for the right to deal with the benefits of someone who can’t manage their own affairs because they are mentally incapable or severely disabled.
Who can apply to be a Deputy?
Anyone over the age of 18 can apply to act as a Deputy. Usually a friend or relative will be the most suitable person to apply. But it is the Court of Protection who has the final say in who can act.
In some cases, it may not be suitable for a friend or relative to act and the Court will appoint an approved Deputy (“a Panel Deputy”) to act.
You may choose to appoint a solicitor to step in as Deputy and act in their professional capacity. A Deputy is responsible for taking on the responsibilities of another person and it is important that a Deputy considers this carefully before making an application.
It is normally recommended that at least two persons should apply to become Deputy to help ease the burden of responsibility. A Deputy must comply with the Court Order and should always act in the best interests of the incapacitated person.
The Deputy is responsible for the finances and bills of the person they are acting for. The Deputy may have to submit an annual account to the Office of the Public Guardian.
Are there different types of Deputyship?
Yes, there are 2 types of Deputyship Orders that the Court of Protection can make:
- Property and Financial Affairs
(This is the most common of Deputyship Order and allows a Deputy to manage a person’s finances)
- Health and Welfare
(The Court of Protection will only grant this Order in certain situations)
A Deputy may also apply to the Court of Protection to make a will on behalf of the incapacitated person. This is known as a Statutory Will.
Who are the OPG?
The OPG stands for the Office of the Public Guardian who is the supervising body for Deputies, providing support to Deputies and safeguarding vulnerable adults.
How much does it cost to apply to become a Deputy?
Currently, a Deputyship application starts from £850 + VAT in line with the Court of Protection solicitors’ fixed costs. There are some disbursements, primarily a £400 court fee, these should be clearly set out for you prior to the start of any application process.
When helping clients with the court of protection matters. Mind at Rest Wills works closely with our trusted partners Premier Solicitors. Who not only have a dedicated and experienced Court of Protection Team. But is also home to one of only 59 Court approved Panel Deputies. As well as solicitors who act as Professional Deputies.
Premier Solicitors have helped hundreds of families and can guide you through this complex process. They have a specialist team that is dedicated to handling Court of Protection work. This allows us to provide clients with a seamless service from beginning to end.
The Firm is Lexcel accredited, a Law Society nationally recognised quality mark for law firms and operate nationally. Allowing us to offer our clients quality competitively priced fixed fee options for the court of protection matters. Both Mind at rest Wills and Premier Solicitors are committed to providing appropriate solutions and excellent customer service.
We can help you with timely and sympathetic advice to ensure you have the right answers and solutions for you.
To make an enquiry simply fill in our Enquiry Form and we will get back to you.