The Court of Protection is a specialist court which deals with issues relating to a person who is not able to make their own decisions. The court has the authority to appoint a deputy for someone who has lost capacity, to manage that person’s affairs.
There are trained judges who deal exclusively with Court of Protection issues and sometimes it is necessary for the parties to attend court if the particular case cannot otherwise be resolved. The court will always have the best interests of the person to whom the application relates as its first consideration.
If the person who has lost capacity has made a Lasting Power of Attorney that decides who can help them. If there is no Lasting Power of Attorney it will be necessary for someone to apply to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a deputy who largely fulfils the same role as an attorney but under the supervision of the court.
Anyone who has an interest in the well being of the person who has lost capacity, although this will ultimately be decided by the Court. This could be a friend of relative or a professional person.
The Deputy would have to look after the financial affairs of the person being helped and will have to keep annual accounts detailing the person’s assets, income and expenditure and may need to file tax returns. The Deputy has to provide annual accounts to the Court.
There are various forms to be completed requiring detailed information about the person’s finances, their relatives and friends who visit them. A medical certificate is needed and the closest relatives of the person concerned have to be notified of the application. Once all the forms are ready they are sent to the Court of Protection which then considers the application and in due course notifies its decision.
Once the Court make an order the deputy will then be authorised to deal with (most of) the financial affairs of the person but additional authority may be needed for example to sell the person’s house.
Yes. Where a person lacks mental capacity an application can be made to the Court of Protection for what is called a Statutory Will. This is a lengthy procedure but in most cases is worth doing where the intestacy rules would impose an outcome that the person would not want.
If you have concerns about someone who is appointed as a deputy, be it their ability to act as deputy or if you think someone is abusing their position contact us for further advice.
If you are appointed as a Deputy and have received papers from the Court of Protection in respect of an application against you we can advise you on those papers and the next steps.
This will vary from case to case as some matters will be more complicated than others but we will provide you with a quotation once we have details of the work to be done.