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Court of Protection

Posted
February 9, 2023
Wills, Trusts and Probate

The Court of Protection makes financial or welfare decisions on behalf of individuals who lack the mental capacity to make such decisions when they are necessary where a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney has not been prepared in advance.

What does the Court of Protection do?

It can:

  • determine if a person is mentally capable of making a particular choice for themselves;
  • choose deputies to represent those without the mental ability, to make ongoing decisions for them;
  • allow individuals to make one-time decisions for a person who lacks the mental capability such as the sale of a property
  • handle applications that call for a quick decision on someone else's behalf, such as those that are urgent or made in an emergency;
  • decide whether to register a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) and accounting for any objections;
  • examine requests to make statutory gifts or wills;
  • determine the circumstances in which a person's freedom may be taken away under the Mental Capacity Act.

What is deputyship?

When a loved one lacks the mental capacity to make decisions about their own finances or welfare, deputyship gives another individual the power to do so. A deputy's responsibility is to always act in the concerned person's best interests.

How can I apply for deputyship through the Court of Protection?

If you are the person's spouse, partner, child, close relative or close friend, you may ask the Court of Protection to officially become a deputy; however, you must be over 18. 

If there is no-one who is willing or able to act then the Court of Protection can appoint professional deputies to act on behalf of the individual.

What does a Deputy do?

A financial deputy is in charge of managing the person’s day-to-day finances. This includes creating a future budget, maintaining their eligibility for state assistance (if available), selling property, managing any investments they have made, making payments on time, and taking care of their taxes.

Deputies are required to maintain and submit annual financial reports to the court as well as pay a legal fee and subsequent annual filing fees and they must carry out their obligations with proper consideration for all relevant instructions in the court's Code of Practice. 

We have found that quite often this is too much for family and friends and they feel that they cannot manage all the obligations and duties appropriately.  When this is the case, or where there is no-one able to help, we are often appointed to act for the vulnerable person which relieves the burden from family and friends, or the Local Authority.

Seek the right help to navigate your way through the Court of Protection minefield

At stevensdrake solicitors, we have the knowledge and experience to support family and loved ones at these difficult times and help protect those who are most in need. 

Call Erica on 01293 596925 or email erica.pearce-howard@stevensdrake.com to find out how she can help you.

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