Solicitors in Westminster, London
Court of Protection
You may find yourself in a situation where your partner, a relative or friend is struggling to make decisions about their finances and/or the medical treatment they need to receive or where they live. This may be because of an illness or an accident that has left them incapacity.
If they don't have lasting powers of attorney in place then you may need to apply to the Court of Protection to be their deputy so that you can make decisions on their behalf.
Our specialist solicitors can assist with:
- Obtaining an assessment of capacity to ascertain what decisions a person can make.
- Obtaining the necessary information to complete a deputyship declaration
- Advising you on who is best suited to act as deputy
- Completing a deputyship application and submitting it to the Court of Protection
- Advising you on the notification process once the deputyship application has been issued
- Dealing with any queries raised by the Court of Protection with regards to the application.
- Advising you on your duties, responsibilities and decision-making powers once you are appointed as deputy
Speak to our Court of Protection solicitors in Westminster, London
How Court of Protection deputyship works
Deputies can be granted the power to manage the financial affairs of the person who lacks capacity, although this can be limited by the Court and there are strict rules on how the deputy can act and the types of decisions that they can make. They can also be granted power to make decisions about a person's health and welfare, although the power tends to be more limited.
Our expert team can advise you on both types of deputy application and help you complete the application papers and guide you through the process. Deputyship applications can take more than three months to complete, but, if necessary, interim orders can be applied for and these are especially relevant if you are concerned that a person's finances are being abused or mismanaged.
Once you have been appointed as a deputy to manage a person's financial affairs then you must keep records as to any monies you receive and any expenditure you make. You will need to report to the Office of the Public Guardian, which is the administrative arm of the Court of Protection, annually, and we can assist in preparing these reports and making sure you carry out your duties and responsibilities as deputy correctly.
There are very strict rules about making gifts out of a person's finances if they lack capacity, and this is something that our team can advise on if you, as deputy, are considering making gifts of any value.
Our Court of Protection services
Applying to become a Court of Protection Deputy
Our expert team can advise you on whether they think a deputyship application is necessary and appropriate. We can assist with gathering the necessary information to make the application and complete the appropriate forms and lodge the application. It is always important, if possible, to keep the person to whom the deputyship application relates informed of the process and we will advise you on what steps you need to take to do this. They must always be notified once the application is issued.
Who can apply to be a deputy?
Anyone can apply to be a deputy, and it is up to the Court of Protection to decide if they believe you to be suitable. Deputies must be adults, but they do not have to be related to the person to whom the deputyship application relates. Professional deputies can be appointed, and it is not unusual for solicitors to be appointed to act as a financial affairs deputy.
How long does it take to apply to the Court of Protection?
Deputyship applications can take some time, which is why it is advisable to put lasting powers of attorney of in place whilst you have mental capacity. Deputyship applications are after the event applications, so after someone has lost capacity. The Court of Protection decides if a deputy is necessary, what their powers will be and who is to be appointed. The person to whom the application relates can object to the appointment of a deputy. If the application is uncontested then it usually takes at least three months for a deputy to be appointed.
What happens once you are appointed as deputy?
A deputy's role generally lasts as long as is needed or until you are discharged by the Court of Protection. For deputies appointed to manage a person's financial affairs they have a duty to report to the Office of the Public Guardian every year as to how they have been managing the person's assets and what, if any, decisions they have made. Deputies should always try and consult with the person about any decisions they are making on their behalf and seek professional advice, such as financial advice if needed.
Costs in the Court of Protection
When you apply to be a deputy there is a court application fee of £365. There is also a supervision fee to pay every year and a security bond before you can be appointed as a property and affairs deputy. This is a type of insurance that protects the finances of the person you're a deputy for. Deputyship applications are usually dealt with as paper applications, but if the Court of Protection decides a hearing is needed a further fee of £485 will be payable.