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Court of Protection & Deputyship

Making decisions for a loved one who can no longer deal with their own affairs

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At Glaisyers, we know that making decisions for another person, or allowing someone to make decisions for you, can raise difficult issues. Our Court of Protection and Deputyship specialists have lots of experience in helping people work out how a decision can be made.

If you are acting for someone as Deputy or Attorney and are experiencing problems, or need the Court to make a decision, we’re here to help. Our friendly, caring lawyers will take the time to be available to listen and understand the situation, before giving clear, straightforward advice, working with you to find solutions to problems.

If there are no family members or friends able to act, the Court can appoint us if a person isn’t able to make their own decisions. We help individuals and local authorities make decisions for vulnerable adults who are not able to deal with their own financial affairs.

Dementia, illness or injury can all stop a person from making decisions. If you are trying to help someone in this position, we’ll go the extra mile for you. We’ll not only do everything we can to help, we’ll make the whole process is as easy and stress-free as possible for you.

Take a look at our court of protection & deputyship services

Advance Directives & Living Wills

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Court of Protection Applications

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Deputyship

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Enduring Power of Attorney

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Health & Welfare Decisions

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Lasting Power of Attorney

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Power of Attorney Registration

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Statutory Wills

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FAQs – Court of Protection

What is the Court of Protection?

The Court of Protection is a specialist Court which helps to look after people who are not able to make decisions for themselves. The Court can make specific decisions, appoint Deputies and register Powers of Attorney. The Court can also make welfare decisions where a person is not able to make the decision themselves.

What is the Office of the Public Guardian?

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) works in tandem with the Court of Protection to ensure that people who don’t have capacity to make decisions have ongoing protection. Whilst the Court of Protection plays a decision making role in cases, the OPG is more of an administrative body tasked with supervising Court of Protection cases.

The Doctor says my Mother no longer has capacity to deal with her affairs but we never got a Power of Attorney. Is there anything that we can do?

A Power of Attorney can only be created when the person giving the power has capacity to do so. This does not mean, that after a person loses capacity and becomes vulnerable no protection is afforded to them; at this stage a Deputy may be appointed. Depending on the type of Deputy appointed, decisions can be made on the incapacitated person’s behalf regarding their finances, property, health and welfare. Please see our “Guide to Deputyship and Court of Protection” for further information.

How is capacity assessed and by whom?

Capacity is assessed with reference to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Capacity can be lost permanently or temporarily and in a variety of different ways, for example if somebody is suffering from dementia or is involved in an accident where they sustain a brain injury.

Capacity depends on the type of decision that needs to be made and the person’s abilities at that time.

Anybody can suspect that a person no longer has the capacity to make certain decisions, but ultimately it can be decided by the Court. Lack of capacity can be temporary or permanent and before the Court decide whether a person does lack capacity, they will seek medical evidence from a GP or Consultant.

What does a Deputy actually do?

There are two different types of Deputy: a Property and Affairs Deputy and a Health and Welfare Deputy.

A Property and Affairs Deputy will, in effect, step into the shoes of the person who has lost capacity and deal with their money and assets on their behalf. Everything that they do regarding the person’s finances must be in the best interests of that person.

It is rare for a Health and Welfare Deputy to be appointed but they would be able to make decisions regarding medical treatment and living conditions, amongst other things.

A Deputy’s actions can be limited and if they need to make a decision that is not authorised by the Court order appointing them, they may need to ask the Court for further permission to act. A Deputy also has to file an annual report to the OPG detailing the decisions that they have made within the last 12 months on the person’s behalf and explaining the reasons for these decisions. The report also requires the Deputy to provide a record of all financial transactions made or received on behalf of the incapacitated person. The OPG can query any part of a Deputy’s report and the Court can terminate their appointment if they do not feel that the Deputy has acted in the person’s best interests.

Who can be a Deputy?

The Deputy can be a member of the family, a friend or a professional advisor. If there is no appropriate relative, friend or advisor the Court can appoint a Deputy from an approved panel. Family members will be given appropriate notice before a Deputy is appointed and objections and comments will be considered by the Court before the appointment is ordered.

How do you become a Deputy?

In most cases, the first stage will be obtaining medical evidence confirming lack of capacity. This will be submitted to the Court of Protection by the medical expert. Financial information is then submitted to the Court providing further details about the person the proposed Deputy and any relevant background information. Once the full application has been submitted, the Court will consider the evidence and appoint an appropriate Deputy.

If the Court feel that a Deputy is required, but do not feel that the original applicant is suitable, they will usually send details of the case to one of the panel members asking them to act as Deputy.

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