A Guide to the Court of Protection 24 June 2019
The Court of Protection decides whether an individual is capable of making informed decisions about their property and financial affairs and about their own health and welfare. If a person is deemed mentally incapable the Court can decide who should make the decision on their behalf.
How does the Court of Protection work?
"The Court of Protection oversees complex situations - every case is unique, with some involving a relative who needs to manage the financial affairs of someone suddenly lacking mental capacity due to an accident or illness - and others concerning applications where Deputies or Attorneys have to be dismissed due to misconduct," explains Paul Hannam of HLF Berry Solicitor, who does act as Deputy appointed by the Court of Protection when needed.
"The work that the Court does is challenging as deciding whether someone can make an informed decision or not is incredibly hard. The Court has to tread a fine line between protecting those who need protection and ensuring the individual has as much control over their life as possible.
"This is why the inner workings of the Court are complex and the paperwork needed for applications and appeals can appear confusing."
What work does the Court of Protection do?
As a guide, the work the Court of Protection does includes:
- Deciding whether someone is able to make their own decision
- Appointing Deputies to handle a person's decisions on property and finance matters, and/or on medical treatment, health and welfare matters, where the person has not made a valid Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney
- Overseeing Deputies making decisions relating to property and financial affairs
- Handling any disputes between Attorneys appointed under Lasting or Enduring Powers of Attorney
- Dismissing Attorneys in cases of misconduct
- Making decisions on property and finance and/or health and welfare matters if there is no Deputy or Attorney
When you might need the Court of Protection
If you need to make decisions on behalf of someone, either to do with their property and financial affairs or their health and welfare, where they have lost the ability to make those decisions for themselves and have not made valid Lasting or Enduring Powers of Attorney, then you will need to make an application to the Court of Protection. Or if you feel the need to intervene with the decision-making of an existing Attorney or Deputy, you would also need to make an application to the Court.
Usually, if you need to make an application or appeal to the Court of Protection it is a confusing and stressful time - and the complexity of the Court means it can be a difficult process. HLF Berry has a dedicated team for Court of Protection matters and our specialists are experienced in both the application and appeal processes, and can guide you through it.
To find out more about our Court of Protection services or to speak to one of our specialist solicitors about making an application or appeal, please contact us at our Failsworth office on 0161 681 4005 or at our Chorlton office on 0161 860 7123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org