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What is a Court of Protection - Deputyship?
A Court of Protection Deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the financial affairs and welfare of someone who has lost capacity to manage themselves.
Can anyone be appointed as a Deputy?
A Deputy must be over 18 and can be a close relative or friend of the person who lacks capacity to make decisions about their financial affairs. The Court of Protection will ensure that the person who is applying as Deputy - Court of Protection has the relevant skills to make decisions on behalf of someone else.
A Deputy can be a professional, such as a solicitor, who will charge for their services, and those costs can be recovered as part of the claims process.
What happens if you have lost capacity, as a result of an injury for which you are claiming compensation?
Sometimes you can suffer a severe injury, such as a brain injury, in a road or other traumatic accident and as a result you may lose capacity to make decisions for your financial affairs and well-being. Case managers may be appointed to assess your situation, including any need for support workers or perhaps the purchase of your property to make your life easier. It is not unusual for the Court of Protection to have a Professional Deputy appointed to ensure that your well-being and financial matters are taken care of in your best interests. If that is the case, then the costs of having a deputy appointed can be recovered as an item of compensation in your claim.
How do you get appointed as Deputy?
You will need to make an application to the Court of Protection. The process involves providing detailed information relating to the person who has lost capacity.
The procedure can take between 4 to 6 months before an Order is made. If a person has lost capacity, it is important that you start the application as soon as possible, to ensure that there is no delay in dealing with that person’s affairs.
The application process can be detailed and lengthy. You can instruct a solicitor to make the application on your behalf or you can contact NewLaw’s Court of Protection Deputy on 0333 003 1909
What Order can the Court of Protection make?
There are two types of Deputy Orders.
You will need permission from the Court of Protection to apply if you wish to become a personal welfare deputy.
What should I do with the Order?
As Deputy, it is your responsibility to notify all relevant institutions that you have been appointed. You should therefore send the Orders to all banks/ building societies, benefits office, and any other organisation to prove that you have the authority to act.
What are your responsibilities as Deputy?
The Court of Protection will advise you on what decisions you can and cannot make. The Order you receive once you are appointed will detail your powers for the person who lacks capacity. If you are in any doubt about your responsibilities you should seek advice from the Office of the Public Guardian.
As Deputy you must always act in the best interests of the person who lacks capacity and you must have regard to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Code of Practice.
If you are appointed as Deputy for Property and Affairs, you will be required to provide the Office of the Public Guardian with an annual report detailing the financial transactions of the person who has lost capacity. You can instruct an experienced solicitor to assist you with preparing the annual report.
Will you receive support as a Deputy?
The Office of the Public Guardian is responsible for ensuring that a Deputy acts in the best interest of the person who lacks capacity. They will set a level of support and supervision based on assessment of each individual case.
If you think you or a loved one needs a Deputy, contact our specialist team at NewLaw, who will talk you through the process and explain it to you.
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