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The Court of Protection is the authority responsible for deciding upon the physical and financial wellbeing of people who have lost the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. Its authority applies to people suffering with conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, brain damage, types of schizophrenia, and other mental conditions that can make someone a danger to themselves or others through harm or neglect.

One of the Court of Protection’s duties is to assign suitable persons (deputies) to make decisions about the care of people who have lost mental capacity.

We regularly advise clients on how to become deputies for others. .

Criteria to become a deputy for a person who has lost mental capacity

The Court of Protection usually permits deputyship for people who meet all of the following criteria:

  • The applicant is over the age of 18 years.
  • The applicant is not bankrupt.
  • No other concerned party objects to the appointment of the applicant as deputy.

Professional deputies (such as solicitors) may also be appointed if the circumstances are appropriate.

How to apply to become a deputy through the Court of Protection

Deputyship applications require the submission of numerous court forms dependent upon whether you are applying to take responsibility of the person’s property and financial affairs or their personal and medical welfare..

The application forms are complex and involve not only  an assessment by a medical professional confirming the state of the subject’s mental capacity, but written statements to justify why you should become a deputy. The application process also includes a stage where other family members and individuals connected to the person will be invited to make objections if they have any.

A successful application requires a convincing legal argument that the court’s priority concerns toward the vulnerable person will be satisfied. This is best achieved with professional oversight.

As deputyship applications to care for someone who has lost mental capacity are often confusing and time-consuming, we will support you through the process from beginning to end. We help our clients to overcome any challenges and provide expert assistance in a compassionate, caring, and sensitive manner.

Alternatively, we can provide a professional Court of Protection deputy where appropriate. We have found that this can minimise friction between family members at what can be a difficult and emotional point in their lives.

Our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts team is highly experienced in supporting clients in deputyship applications. Our clients include individuals, families, and owners of businesses of all sizes and worth.

We provide support for carers of people with conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s through to representing individuals who have suffered a serious injury and are in receipt of compensation.

We also have considerable expertise in advising deputies on specific issues regarding property and financial transactions, along with advising and creating statutory wills for an incapacitated individual.

Trustees with reduced mental capacity – transferring trust responsibility with the Court of Protection

When a person who has lost mental capacity is also  a trustee, and other arrangements have not been made, it may be necessary to ask the Court of Protection to use its legal powers to appoint a replacement trustee. There are several aspects of the situation to consider before taking this step, but it is an area of work we are experienced in advising on.

Disputing a Court of Protection decision

If the Court of Protection has made a decision that you feel is not in your vulnerable loved one’s best interests, you have the right to challenge its decisions. Whether you have been denied deputyship, or you need to remove an unsuitable deputy or attorney, our dispute resolution experts are able to advise you on how to proceed.

How to prevent needing the Court of Protection in later life

Individuals who have not lost mental capacity can pre-emptively act to ensure people they trust are able to manage their affairs in the future if necessary. Our team is highly experienced and ready to advise in this area. To find out more, visit our powers of attorney page.

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