Court of Protection & Deputyships

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Do you need help understanding how the court of protection works? Dealing with official bodies when you have a vulnerable loved one to look after can be overwhelming. We are here to help you navigate the complexities, and understand how it all works.

The Court of Protection

The Court of Protection is a specialist court for all issues relating to people who lack capacity to make specific decisions. This court primarily deals with issues relating to cases made under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the making of decisions on behalf of an individual who cannot do so for themselves.

Common applications made to this court are:

  • Financial Affairs Deputyships
  • Health and Care Deputyships
  • Statutory Wills (that is a court approved Will for an individual that does not have the mental capacity to make a Will or amend their existing Will)
  • removal of a Deputy or an Attorney
  • requesting approval to make gifts
  • disputes about decision making
  • disagreements relating to care placements

Office of the Public Guardian

The role of the Office of the Public Guardian is to protect vulnerable individuals from abuse. This includes supervising Attorneys/Deputies, keeping a register of Attorneys/Deputies, registering Powers of Attorney and investigating complaints about Attorneys or Deputies.

We can advise you on the following:

  • If you’re being investigated by the Office of the Public Guardian
  • Registering a Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian
  • Objections in relation to the registration of a Power of Attorney

Deputyship

One can be appointed as someone’s “Deputy” by the Court of Protection when that individual is unable to make decisions for themselves, due to a lack of mental capacity – these decisions can relate to either finances or health. Such an appointment usually occurs because the vulnerable individual did not create an Enduring Power of Attorney or a Lasting Power of Attorney while they had mental capacity: therefore, an application needs to be made to the Court of Protection for the Court to appoint a “Deputy” to make decisions for the vulnerable individual.

The role of a Financial Affairs Deputy is to manage/safeguard the property and finances of the vulnerable individual. The Deputy has the same authority as the vulnerable individual with the same powers (unless restricted by the Court). The Deputy must always act in the best interests of the vulnerable individual and ensure that the decisions which they make are solely related to that individual and their best interests.

Paris Smith Trust Corporation Limited can be appointed as a Financial Affairs Deputy if the individual does not have appropriate person/persons or if there is a difficult family dynamic (this is separate to a Panel Deputy – which refers to a panel of professional deputies that the Court of Protection can allocate cases to).

There might be a need for someone to make decisions about Health and Care matters. The Court of Protection can appoint an appropriate person to be appointed as a Health and Care Deputy. There must be a justifiable need for such an appointment which must be demonstrated to the Court.

We can help you in relation to making a Deputyship application and the requirements

Introducing your key contact

Kelly Greig
Partner – Head of Tax & Estate Planning

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