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Court of Protection

If you have a friend or relative who is mentally incapable and does not have a valid Lasting Power of Attorney, it may be necessary to appoint someone as a deputy to manage their affairs. A Lasting Power of Attorney would not be suitable in this instance as the individual in question must have capacity in order to make the application for Lasting Powers of Attorney. The individual for whom the deputy is appointed is generally referred to as “P”.

Appointment

To appoint someone as a deputy, an application must be made to the Court of Protection. A deputy can be appointed to deal with P’s property and financial affairs or decisions about their health and welfare, or both. Anyone over the age of 18 can be appointed as a deputy, although it is usually a family member or a close friend. Deputies may act either solely or more than one can be appointed jointly and severally.

The application process is fairly lengthy and a number of forms need to be completed and certain evidence collated. The forms include information such as the property and affairs of P, assessment of P’s capacity and a declaration from the deputy. There is also a requirement for both P to be notified of the application as well as certain other people.

Responsibilities

There are a number of responsibilities that come with being a deputy. For example, a deputy must act in the best interests of P and act with due care and skill. Deputies must not profit from their position and must act in good faith. In addition, deputies must act with appropriate confidentiality, not delegate and keep P’s money separate from their own.

Deputies are supervised by the Court of Protection. Supervision will either be general or minimal. General supervision is the normal level and may include a routine visit from a Court of Protection visitor to ensure the deputy is fulfilling their duties. An annual report must also be filed by the deputy setting out a number of decisions and facts. Some of these are as follows:

  • decisions that have been made by the deputy;
  • whether P’s capacity has changed over time;
  • details of any major decision’s made on P’s behalf;
  • any concerns as to the deputy’s deputyship; and
  • details of any income and expenditure.

Minimal supervision is where the deputy is managing less than £21,000 worth of property and affairs and an annual report is not required in these circumstances.

Deputies are also required to take out a security insurance bond when they take on their role, though this is paid from the P’s funds and is therefore not for the deputy to pay.

All deputies must keep accounts of all dealings and transactions made on behalf of P.

How We Can Assist

Our Glanvilles Wills, Trusts & Probate team advise clients on whether such an application is necessary, and any suitable alternatives. We can prepare the application and advise the deputy on their powers and duties once appointed.

The Partners at Glanvilles can also act as deputies in appropriate cases.

If you are looking for assistance for someone who requires help with their financial, property, health or welfare affairs please get in touch with a member of our Wills, Trusts & Probate team who will be happy to advise accordingly.