Deputyship

Court of Protection and Deputyship Orders


Are you helping to care for a family member or friend who seems to be getting confused and having difficulty managing their finances? If they haven’t appointed an Attorney under either an Enduring Power of Attorney or a Lasting Power of Attorney, you may have already realised that it is difficult to help them to sort things out.

In order to help them someone will need to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as their Deputy.
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What is the Court of Protection?


The Court of Protection is a specialist court set up to deal with decisions or actions relating to the Mental Capacity Act.

Amongst the things the Court is responsible for are:

Deciding whether someone has the mental capacity to make a particular decision for themselves;
Appointing Deputies to make ongoing decisions for people who lack mental capacity;
Giving people permission to make one-off decisions on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity;
Handling urgent or emergency applications where a decision must be made on behalf of someone else who lacks mental capacity.

 
The Court is based in London, but cases can also be transferred to a local court for a hearing.  Cases can be dealt with on a paper application without the applicants having to attend a hearing.

What is Mental Capacity?

 
Having mental capacity means being able to make and communicate your own decisions.

We all make decisions, large or small, every single day of our lives. Most people can make these for themselves but others, perhaps because of injury or illness, are unable to make some, or any, decisions for themselves.

Some people may be able to make simple decisions about what they want to wear or what they want to eat, but lack the ability to make more complex decisions about where they should live or how to invest their money.

The Court of Protection will need a report about the mental capacity of the person who is the subject of any application, giving information about how the lack of capacity has occurred and whether this is likely to be temporary or permanent. 

Deputyship Orders

 

A Deputy will normally be appointed to manage the finances and property of the person lacking capacity, as this will involve making decisions on an ongoing basis.  This can include:

  • taking control of their bank account;
  • managing their benefits, pension or income;
  • paying their bills;
  • buying or selling property on their behalf.
 
Sometimes the Court will also appoint a Health and Welfare Deputy if continuous treatment might be required.  The decisions that might need to be made are:

  • where the person is to live;
  • who they live with;
  • what they are to eat;
  • about medical and dental treatment;
  • the leisure and social activities they should take part in.

Who can be a Deputy?

 

Anyone who is over 18 and who has mental capacity can apply to be someone’s Deputy.  Normally the application is made by a family member or close friend. If you are thinking of applying to be a Property and Affairs Deputy for someone, you should consider whether you have the skills to make the complex financial decisions that might be involved.

There can be more than one Deputy appointed for the same person.  Where two or more people are appointed they can either act:

  • together (a joint appointment) which means that they all have to agree each decision; or
  • they can act separately or together (a joint and several appointment) which means that each of the Deputies can make decisions either on their own or with other Deputies.

In some circumstances, it can be best to have a Professional Deputy if the situation is more complicated.  A member of the team at Vine Law would be able to act as a Professional Deputy if it was felt that this would be in the best interests of the person concerned.

If you have any questions about Deputyship or would like us to act for you, phone us on 01945 89809, email Cath Collins at cathcollins@vinelaw.co.uk, or Kieren Cross at kierencross@vinelaw.co.uk, or fill in the form below.

Get in touch with us

Our purpose is to offer more choice, more certainty, and an effortless client experience. You are welcome to get in touch with us for a chat about how we can help you.

Get in touch with us

Our purpose is to offer more choice, more certainty, and an effortless client experience. You are welcome to get in touch with us for a chat about how we can help you.
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Based on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border, Vine Law is a modern law firm. We believe that the law is a tool that everyone should be able to access and use to protect themselves, their families, and their businesses.

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