Court of Protection
With an increasing number of people in the UK living longer, conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia are becoming more common. This leaves the families of those affected with the worry and stress of how to ensure their loved ones are properly cared for if they do not have the capacity to manage their own affairs.
This can also be an issue for parents of children with special education needs who will no longer have the automatic right to manage their child’s affairs once they turn 18.
The Court of Protection can empower the loved ones of a person who lacks mental capacity to make important decisions for them, including about their finances, healthcare and living arrangements. This helps to ensure that the needs of older and vulnerable people are taken care of and gives their loved ones peace of mind.
Chattertons’ Court of Protection lawyers have decades of experience helping to safeguard vulnerable members of our society, as well as supporting their families and advisers. We offer a sensitive and compassionate, but highly practical approach, providing a true understanding of the issues surrounding the welfare of elderly and vulnerable people.
Our Court of Protection solicitors’ expertise includes:
- Compensation Protection Trusts
- Disputes in the Court of Protection
- Inheritance Tax
- Powers of Attorney
- Probate & Administration of Estates
Whatever your situation, our Court of Protection team can advise on your best course of action. This may include making an application to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a deputy, who can be a family member, a friend or a solicitor, as well as the approval of gifts.
We can also act as professional Court of Protection deputies, as well as supporting lay deputies in fulfilling their role, liaising with care professionals and support workers on behalf of the client, taking care of any property transactions and providing support to compensation professionals in the provision of deputyships as part of a compensation settlement.
Clients often ask us……
What is a Court of Protection deputy?
A deputy is a person empowered by the Court of Protection to manage someone else’s affairs if that person is considered to lack the mental capacity to make important decisions for themselves. The deputy’s powers will be set out in a court order issued by the Court of Protection.
There are two main types of Court of Protection deputy:
Property and affairs deputies – who can make decisions about a person’s property and finances.
Personal welfare deputies – who can make decisions about a person’s health and welfare, including what medical treatment they receive.
Who can be a Court of Protection deputy?
In theory, anyone over the age of 18 can apply to be a deputy. You will need to demonstrate a strong link to the person you wish to act as a deputy for and declare any criminal convictions or bankruptcy, if applicable. If there is nobody willing or able to act as a deputy, the local authority can take on this role, or a professional deputy such as a solicitor can be appointed. You can have more than one deputy, although they will need to agree when making decisions.
How do I become a Court of Protection deputy?
You will need to apply to the Court of Protection by filling out some forms and paying an application fee. The Court will then establish whether the person needs a deputy and if there are any objections to your appointment.
What does it mean to “lack capacity”?
A person may be deemed to lack mental capacity if they have dementia or similar degenerative disease, have severe learning difficulties or have suffered a serious brain injury or illness. The general principle is that they are unable to make important decisions for themselves at a time when those decisions need to be made.
What is the difference between a Court of Protection deputyship and a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can be used to give someone similar powers to a Court of Protection Deputyship. The main difference is that an LPA is intended to empower someone else to manage your affairs if you lose capacity in the future, while a Court of Protection deputyship can be applied for to manage the affairs of someone else who has already lost capacity.