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Court of Protection: What you need to know

The Court of Protection is a specialist court which was set up under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to help individuals who lack the capacity to be able to make decisions for themselves. The Court can make decisions on behalf of someone who has lost capacity or appoint deputies to make those decisions. These decisions can be about a person’s property and financial affairs or their health and welfare.

The Office of the Public Guardian deals with the administration side of the Court. It is responsible for supervising deputies who are appointed by the Court of Protection as well as keeping a register of all deputies and powers of attorney. They can also investigate any complaints received about a Deputy or Attorney.

An experienced legal specialist can help you understand the legal position and guide you through the process of dealing with the Court or the Office of the Public Guardian. With our expertise we are able to advise appropriately on your circumstances, providing practical advice and the professional support you need.

 

A bit more information…

Statutory Wills

If a person has lost capacity then it is possible they will lack the required capacity to be able to make a Will.

This would result in their estate being distributed according to the intestacy rules upon their death. This may result in an unfair outcome or importantly may not be the outcome the person would have wanted. By applying for a Statutory Will at the Court of Protection this can be avoided.

We can help you in dealing with all the work necessary in making a Statutory Will for someone who lacks capacity.

Deputyships

It may be necessary for the Court of Protection to appoint a ‘Deputy’ to manage a person’s affairs where no Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney is in place.

We can help you to understand this application process and can assist in completing all the relevant paperwork, obtaining the necessary medical evidence, lodging the application, arranging any required insurance and implementing the Court’s orders. We can also act as your Deputy.

We can help with other elements of Deputyship, including buying or selling a property, business management and employment of staff. Part of the role of a Deputy will include producing an annual report in a prescribed form for the Court of Protection. These accounts must detail all financial transactions completed and additional information as well. We have experience in this and will be able to help in ensuring this is completed correctly.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is needed to appoint someone to act on your behalf in case, in the future, you are unable to manage your own financial affairs or decisions in relation to your health and welfare.  For more information go to Wills and Mental Capacity service page.

Court of Protection Disputes

Disputes can arise in relation to Lasting Powers of Attorney or Deputy appointments.

For instance, you may think a Lasting Power of Attorney is being granted to the wrong person or disagree as to whether a person has lost their capacity or not.

You may also have concerns as to whether the actions of an Attorney or Deputy are in the best interests of the person who lacks capacity. Alternatively you may be a Deputy yourself and find yourself being challenged.

You may also not agree with the steps being taken by an Attorney of Deputy or are concerned that they are not managing the person who has lost capacity’s affairs correctly whether that be their finances or their personal health and welfare.

It is important to seek legal advice in this specialist area and we will be able to help advise you on your options. We can help and guide you through the process.

For more information please contact Elizabeth Fry (Disputes) or Alison Lamont (Non-Contentious).

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