What Is A Court Of Protection Deputyship?
A Court of Protection Deputyship Order replaces a Power of Attorney when the person concerned is not capable.
The process involves asking the Court of Protection to approve a suitable person to manage the incapable person’s affairs.
Similar to LPAs, there are two different forms of Court of Protection deputyship:
• Deputyship for property and affairs
• Deputyship for personal welfare
Appointing a court of protection deputyship can be a long and complex process, so suitable legal advice at an early stage can be invaluable.
Why Would You Need To Appoint A Court Of Protection Deputy?
Suppose a family member, loved one, or a close friend loses the capacity for whatever reason and hasn't already appointed an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). In that case, you can be appointed as a Deputy.
An application for this will need to be made to the court of protection.
The court of protection also presides over complex issues such as the approval of statutory wills, the foundation of infant settlement trusts and the resolution of any disputes relating to protection issues.
Who Can Be Appointed As A Court Of Protection Deputy?
A deputy must be at least 18 years old. Ideally, they will be someone you trust implicitly, like a family member or close friend.
The court may prefer to appoint a professional deputy in complex cases, particularly those involving large sums of money.
How We Can Help Your Chosen Court Of Protection Deputy
Here at Monan Gozzett, we can use our expertise to assist you with the application process so that you can be appointed as deputy for your loved one.
We can also provide assistance whilst you wait for the Deputyship Order to be made.
This process can take many months and may involve liaising with social services, care homes, creditors and other financial institutions.
Managing a loved one's finances and welfare can be complex and stressful.
Our experienced solicitors can offer help and advice to make the responsibilities as easy as possible.
We can help you with many of your duties, including:
- Completing tax returns
- Paying for care
- Accessing state benefits
- Making decisions regarding healthcare and/or accommodation
- Submitting annual reports to the Office of the Public Guardian
Monan Gozzett can provide compassionate guidance and expert legal services throughout whatever roles and responsibilities your deputyship may involve.
You can find out more by calling our team on 0207 936 6329. Or, if you prefer, you can complete our Quick Contact Form at the bottom of this page.
Frequently Asked Questions About Court Of Protection Deputyship
Why can’t my ‘next of kin’ make decisions for me?
Although the phrase ‘next of kin’ is common, it doesn't have any legal status in financial decisions. If you lose the capacity to do so for yourself, the only person able to manage your finances is a court-appointed deputy or attorney acting under a registered lasting or enduring power of attorney.
Will the deputy have to demonstrate their fitness to act?
The court will require the proposed deputy to complete a deputy’s declaration (COP4) to ensure they are financially sound and understand their responsibilities as deputy. The court will decide whether the person lacks capacity and what decisions the deputy will need to make. This will be set out in a court order.
What powers will the deputy have?
The deputy will only be granted powers set out in the court order. The deputy will usually be allowed to:
- deal with any income and pay any bills and debts;
- deal with any cash assets, e.g. bank and building society accounts;
- manage or sell property;
- make small gifts on special occasions such as birthdays; and
- deal with any capital assets and make any investment decisions.
Does the deputy have complete control over the person's affairs?
No, the deputy can only do what it says in the court order.
Some of their powers will include:
- dealing with any income and paying any bills and debts;
- dealing with any cash assets;
- managing or selling a property.
They must also work within the rules set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Code of Practice accompanying this Act.
How long will the appointment process take?
Appointing a court of protection deputy can take 5 to 8 months. It can take longer if the court needs more information to decide the application. To avoid delay, all forms must be correctly completed, and the court is given all the relevant information at the start.
In urgent cases, you can ask the court to grant an interim order, for example, to access funds to pay debts.
How long will the deputy order last?
The court order will say how long the deputyship will last. If the person stops lacking capacity, then an application will have to be made to the Court of Protection to discharge the deputy. If the person dies, the deputyship automatically comes to an end.