Has your family member or friend lost mental capacity?
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, known as loss of mental capacity. Illnesses can be a common factor, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons and other forms of dementia.
If a person has lost mental capacity, they will no longer be able to make a Lasting Power of Attorney. In order to take control of your loved one or family member’s affairs you need to apply 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.
Our trusted partners Premier Solicitors have helped hundreds of families and can guide you through this complex process. They have a specialist team that are dedicated to handling Court of Protection work. The team includes one of only 59 panel deputies in the country approved by the Court of Protection.
They charge fees in line with the Court of Protection solicitors’ fixed costs, and are upfront about the cost of service, not undertaking any work without your consent.
Who are Premier Solicitors?
Premier Solicitors is a leading law firm, founded in 2006, offering competitive fixed fees and dedicated to providing a professional and affordable legal service. The Firm is Lexcel accredited, a Law Society nationally recognised quality mark for law firms.
What does the Court of Protection do?
The Court of Protection makes decisions on applications which involve people who lack mental capacity.
Court of Protection Deputyship – who needs one?
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.
If the incapacitated person does not have savings/property in excess of £5,000 and their only income is pension/state benefits, then a Deputyship Order will not be proportionate to their needs.
In this case, 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. Premier Solicitors not only has 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.
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.
Premier Solicitors recommend 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 – these are the most common of Deputyship Order and allow a Deputy to manage a person’s finances.
Health and Welfare – The Court of Protection will only grant this Order in certain situations.
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) are the supervising body for Deputies, providing support to Deputies and safeguarding vulnerable adults.