As we live longer the problem of an ageing population means that an increasing number of our elderly relatives are referred to the Court of Protection. You may be worried about the mental capacity of a loved one and if so you should seek advice from a professional such as a GP or a Consultant. We can help you obtain medical evidence and if it supports the view that your relative lacks capacity we can help you with the process of involving the Court of Protection.
This process takes time and the delay that can arise between a loved one losing the capacity to manage their own affairs and the Court being able to take control can cause enormous emotional and practical difficulties.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
The most effective means of avoiding the problems caused by these delays is to sign a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). (Direct link to that Page) Every individual has the right to appoint someone of their choice in advance to look after their affairs on their behalf, should they at a later stage lack the capacity to manage their affairs themselves. If someone has not made an LPA and they lose capacity then there needs to be an Application to the Court of Protection asking the Court to appoint a Deputy to act in the same way for that individual as an Attorney would.
Deputy Appointed by The Court of Protection
A Property and Affairs Deputy
- looks after someone’s financial affairs
- can pay bills and take over bank accounts
- can do all the things an Attorney can do
- has to account to the Court at all times
- has to get permission from the Court before making a major decision such as selling someone’s property
- has to provide a Report’ to the Court every year giving information on decisions that the Deputy has made on that person’s behalf and also Accounts for the Court to approve
A Deputy has to be over 18 years of age and a “suitable” person who has ideally not been declared bankrupt or found guilty of a criminal offence. The Deputy is usually a family member or close friend, or a professional such as a Solicitor or Accountant.
Timescale & Cost
Once the Application has been sent to the Court it usually takes 2 or 3 months for someone to be appointed as Deputy.
The cost of this procedure can include the following
- a fee for medical evidence is usually charged ranging from £50 to £300.
- an Application fee of £400 payable to the Court
- a fee of £125 to appoint the Deputy
- an annual supervision fee payable to the Court ranging from £0 to £800
- a Bond taken out by the Deputy to cover their actions at an annual cost of about £200
- our fees for the legal work which we will discuss with you
All the fees are payable from the assets of the person who lacks capacity. They are usually postponed until the Deputy has access to your relative’s bank accounts.
You will want to do all you can
- to plan for the time when you may no longer be able to manage your own affairs and we can help achieve that with an LPA
- to help your loved ones when they lose the capacity to mange their own affairs
The process of involving the Court of Protection is complex and can be distressing but we can help with that too so please download the Guide attached or call us now for sensitive, practical and professional advice.