A Court of Protection deputy is a person appointed by the court to make decisions for someone who no longer has the mental capacity to make decisions for his or herself.
The Court of Protection is a specialist court that makes one-off or ongoing decisions about a person’s property and finances or their health and welfare when he or she is no longer able to make those decisions for themselves, by appointing a deputy.
Who Can Be A Deputy?
A deputy has to be aged 18 or over, and can be a family member or friend or a professional deputy. The most important criteria is that the person appointed must be suitable, willing and able to fulfil the duties of a deputy.
A Deputy’s Duties
A deputy is appointed by the court to manage the property and finances or health and welfare matters of the individual who lacks mental capacity to make their own decisions.
The court creates a court order and this details the duties and powers of the deputy. Every court order is different but as a guide, a property and financial affairs deputy is often allowed to:
- Deal with any home issues such as paying bills
- Manage or sell property
- Make investment decisions
A welfare deputy is often allowed to:
- Make welfare decisions such as where the person lives
- Make decisions about medical treatment
Deputies are supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and need to explain their decisions and account for all spending via an annual report to the OPG.
What Are The Deputyship Types?
There are two types of deputyships:
- Property and Financial Affairs Deputy
This deputy makes decisions about financial matters such as paying bills or paying for services
- Personal Welfare Deputy
This deputy makes decisions about the health and welfare of the person such as where they live or what care they receive
Personal Welfare Deputies are rare and normally only appointed in the most difficult of cases. Often the court makes the decision itself about a health and welfare matter rather than appointing a deputy to make the decision.
How Do You Become A Deputy?
You need to apply to become a deputy and complete a deputyship application to ensure suitability for the role. You also need to complete a declaration to ensure financial soundness and an understanding of responsibilities as deputy.
Before being appointed deputy, there is an assessment of capacity, by a qualified professional, of the individual who potentially needs a deputy to decide if the person lacks mental capacity.
On average, it takes 5-8 months to be appointed as a deputy, although in urgent cases you can ask the court to grant an interim order.
Helping You With Your Application And Duties
If you would like to apply for a deputyship, our specialist solicitors can help you complete the relevant forms quickly and accurately to speed up the application process and minimise the risk of delay. We can also advise you of the responsibilities of a deputy to ensure you are fully aware of your undertaking.
Depending on the deputyship order, once appointed as deputy we are here to assist whenever needed. We can offer advice on selling property and whether another application to the Court of Protection is needed to do so. We can also prepare the annual report for the OPG on your behalf.
To find out more about deputyships or to speak to one of our specialist solicitors for advice on a certain aspect of being a deputy, please contact us at our Chorlton office on 0161 860 7123 or email email@example.com or at our Failsworth office on 0161 681 4005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org