Understanding Deputyship Orders / Court of Protection Applications: Legal Guidance

Introduction to Deputyship Orders

If you wish to manage the affairs of a loved one who has lost mental capacity and hasn’t made a power of attorney, you will need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order.

What is a Deputyship Order?

A Deputyship Order is a legal document issued by a court that grants someone the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of an individual who lacks the mental capacity to make those decisions themselves. This situation typically arises when a person is unable to manage their financial, property, or personal affairs due to conditions like dementia, mental illness, or brain injury.
The individual granted this authority is known as a “Deputy.” There are two main types of deputyship order:
1. Property and Financial Affairs Deputyship: This type of deputyship order authorises the deputy to manage the individual’s finances; assets; and property. It allows them to make decisions related to bank accounts; property transactions; paying bills (including care fees); claiming benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions on the individual’s behalf; and managing investments.
2. Personal Welfare Deputyship: This order grants the deputy the authority to make decisions about the individual’s personal welfare, including medical treatment and living arrangements. Personal welfare deputyship orders are less common and are usually only granted when there are no other alternatives.

The Deputyship Application Process:

To obtain a deputyship order, an application must be made to the Court of Protection. The Court will assess whether the appointment of a deputy is in the best interests of the person lacking capacity. The deputy is typically a family member or close friend, but in some cases, a professional may be appointed.

The purpose of a deputyship order is to ensure that the individual’s best interests are protected and that necessary decisions are made on their behalf when they are unable to do so themselves. It’s a legal safeguard to prevent financial or personal exploitation and to provide for the well-being of vulnerable individuals.

Choosing a Deputy:

Choosing the right person to be a deputy, especially when it involves making decisions for someone who lacks mental capacity, is a significant responsibility. Here are some steps to help you choose a suitable deputy:
  • Assess the Person’s Needs: Understand the specific needs and circumstances of the person for whom you are appointing a deputy. Consider whether they require help with financial matters, personal welfare decisions, or both.
  • Consider Family and Friends: Typically, family members or close friends are chosen as deputies because they often have a deep understanding of the individual’s preferences and needs. Evaluate who among them is best suited to the role and willing to take on the responsibilities.
  • Professional Deputy: In some cases, it may be necessary to appoint a professional deputy, such as a solicitor or accountant, especially if there are complex financial assets involved; conflicts of interest among family members; or no suitable family or friends available to take on the role.
  • Assess Trustworthiness: Ensure that the chosen deputy is trustworthy and has the individual’s best interests at heart. They should be someone who can make decisions objectively, avoiding any conflicts of interest.
  • Capacity to Act: Verify that the potential deputy has the capacity to fulfill the duties and responsibilities required by the deputyship order. This includes managing finances, liaising with authorities, and making important decisions.
Choosing a deputy is an important decision, and it’s essential to prioritise the well-being and best interests of the individual who lacks capacity. Legal advice and guidance can be invaluable in this process to ensure that the right person or entity is appointed as a deputy.

Why Choose Yates Legal?

It’s advisable to consult with a solicitor experienced in deputyship matters. They can provide guidance on the selection process, legal requirements, and help with the application process.
At Yates Legal we have in-depth knowledge and experience in Deputyship applications so we can ensure a smooth and legally sound process.
We provide personalised guidance tailored to your own circumstances and situation and the best interests of your loved one.
You can rely on our compassionate approach to protect the rights and well-being of your loved one, with a focus on dignity and respect.

What Happens Next?

The final decision on the appointment of a deputy is made by the Court of Protection. The Court will assess whether the chosen deputy is suitable and acting in the best interests of the individual lacking capacity and will make an appropriate order.
Once a deputy is appointed, the court may require periodic reports and reviews to ensure that the deputy is acting appropriately and in the best interests of the person they represent.

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