What is the Court of Protection?
The Court of Protection is there to help those who sadly don’t have the mental capacity to manage their own affairs.
It has the power to make decisions for people about their money, property, health or welfare.
The Court can also give these powers to someone else, such as a relative or close friend who can manage their loved one’s affairs. This normally happens when there’s a need to make decisions on a long term basis.
If the Court gives these powers to someone else, they are called a Deputy.
You can apply to become someone’s deputy if you feel that they are struggling to make decisions in their everyday life because they ‘lack mental capacity’; which means they cannot make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made, but they may still be able to make decisions for themselves at certain times.
There are many reasons why this may be the case including dementia, brain injury or illness or they have severe learning disabilities.
As a Deputy, you’ll be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf.
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.
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.
Once the Application has been sent to the Court it usually takes 2 or 3 months for someone to be appointed as Deputy.
What are the reponsibilities of a Deputy?
As a Deputy, your responsibilities will be tailored to the specific circumstances of the individual concerned which can include:
- Looking after the day-to-day running of the person’s finances if they are not capable of managing this.
- Completing and submitting annual accounts to the Office of the Public Guardian.
- Purchasing specialist equipment the person needs.
- Ensuring they are receiving all benefits that they are entitled to.
- Looking after their property.
- Streamlining the person’s financial affairs and opening a deputy bank account to manage regular receipts and payments.
- Meeting with the Court of Protection visitors for the purposes of reviews.
- Preparing tax returns.
Our specialist team of Court of Protection lawyers based in both Liverpool and Southport have all the knowledge and experience to help you make the right decision.