Court of Protection: Essential Information

If a loved one is unable to make decisions for themselves either through a disability or an illness that has developed with age, what do you do?

Unfortunately, not everybody has had the opportunity to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney determining who is to deal with matters on their behalf should they lose capacity. Should a person lose mental capacity, a family member must make application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as that person’s Deputy.

What does it cover?

As with Lasting Powers of Attorney, there are two different types of Court Order that you can apply for:

Property and Financial Affairs

This is the most common Court Order. It is fairly simple for the Court of Protection to recognise where the need arises for someone to look after a vulnerable person’s finances for them if they are unable to. For example, if your spouse was to lose mental capacity and they had lots of assets in their sole name, it would be evident that a Court Order was needed for you to be able to deal with these assets for them.

Health & Welfare

This Court Order involves a rather more complex application and can be harder to obtain first time round. It is the job of the Court of Protection in this situation to assess the situation based on its merits and ascertain whether appointing a person to act as a welfare Deputy would assist the person who requires it or if there is a better option available. More often than not, if there is a way around appointing a welfare Deputy, the Court will take this option.

Who can act as a Deputy?

The ideal candidate to make the application to the Court of Protection is a family member. However, there are other options available for those who may not be lucky enough to have family who are able to take up this role. A Professional Deputy can be appointed to act in these situations either through the Court or by an independent Solicitor.

What do I do now?

If you require any further information about the Court of Protection then please do not hesitate to contact either our Westcliff on Sea office on 01702 338338 or our Billericay office on 01277 500123 and someone from the team will be happy to speak with you. Email: cetherington@paulrobinson.co.uk