How to apply for a Deputyship to the Court of Protection
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is an agreement to protect the interests of a person who has lost their mental capacity. Ideally, an LPA is in place by the person concerned while they are still mentally competent.
However, if they lose mental capacity before an LPA is in place, the solution is to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputy to be appointed. A Deputy can be authorised to make decisions in relation to the person’s Property and Finances and/or Health and Welfare.
Who can be a Deputy?
Any adult above the age of eighteen may apply to the Court of Protection. However, it is doubtful that your appointment as a Deputy will be approved if you have a history of bankruptcy or fraud.
A deputy may be a member of the family or a close friend (a “Lay Deputy”), but it may also be a professional, such as a solicitor. A Professional is usually appointed when matters are complex, a Protected Party’s estate is high value, a large compensation award has been received or a family member doesn’t want the responsibility.
What is the procedure for applying to be a Deputy?
If you wish to apply to be appointed as a Deputy and have obtained the capacity assessment from a medical expert, you will then need to complete a number of application forms. These forms provide details on the Protected Party to the Court of Protection, which helps them determine whether a Deputy is necessary.
As part of the application process, you are required to notify certain people of the application, such as close family members. This then gives these people the opportunity to object to the application if they wish to.
In the absence of any objections, the Court will review the application and, if satisfied, appoint the Deputy. The appointment will be confirmed in an Order, which also sets out the responsibilities of the Deputy and any restrictions. This Order can then be forwarded to the relevant organisations, giving the Deputy authority to communicate with them.
Due to the high volume of applications the Court of Protection receives each day, the entire process can sometimes take four months. As no one has the ability to handle a Protected Party’s finances until the Deputy is chosen, which can be problematic if there are debts that need to be paid.
What are the costs involved?
Costs include an application fee currently of £385 and a supervision fee to be paid to the Office of the Public Guardian on an annual basis. There is also a premium to be paid for a security bond. All costs are paid from the funds held by the Protected Party.
A solicitor will be able to advise you accordingly, and potentially save you time and money.
Do I need a solicitor?
We understand that it may be challenging when a loved one loses their mental capacity. We understand that it may be challenging when a loved one loses their mental capacity. It is also very easy to make a mistake in the process of applying for a Deputy to be appointed. Working closely with a lawyer who specialises in the Court of Protection and is aware of any challenges you may be encountering will help you navigate the procedure with the least amount of stress possible.
Here at Osborne Morris and Morgan Solicitors we can also support you as Deputy with tasks such as completing tax returns, preparing the annual Deputy Report as well as assisting with communicating with the Local Authority or preparing a Statutory Will for a loved one.
How to apply for a Deputyship
If you would like to know more about applying for a Deputyship, we are here to assist you. To speak with one of our specialist Court of Protection solicitors, please call us on 01525 378177 or you can contact us online.