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Taking over someone’s finances often comes at a time when a loved one may need to move into permanent residential care meaning the family are left to potentially sell a property, arrange for payment of care fees and pay bills which at the time they have no legal authority to do. This is where the terms ‘deputy’ and ‘Court of Protection’ are thrown around, but what do these terms mean?
The Court of Protection is a specific Court that is responsible for making orders relating to a person’s property and financial affairs and health and welfare when that person no longer has the capacity to make decisions for themselves.
A deputy is the legal term for the person appointed by the Court of Protection and has the legal authority to manage someone’s affairs.
Currently the law states that you cannot legally manage someone else’s affairs without having some legal authority in place. This can be either through a Lasting Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney or by being appointed as someone’s deputy by the Court of Protection.
Applications to the Court of Protection can be complex and here at JWP we have a team of specialist solicitors to represent and guide you through the process.
We offer a free first meeting to understand the details of your case and discuss potential routes forward. Before progressing with your case we will always provide a transparent view of costs. In many cases, we’re able to offer a fixed price upfront for our services.
What is the difference between a Lasting Power of Attorney and a Deputyship?
A Lasting Power of Attorney can only be created if someone has sufficient mental capacity to understand the document and its impact whereas a deputyship order is applied for when a person no longer has sufficient mental capacity to make decisions. Both documents result in the nominated attorneys/deputy having the legal authority to manage a person’s affairs on their behalf.
Who can be a Deputy?
Anyone over the age of 18 years old that can prove to the Court of Protection that they can be responsible for managing someone else’s affairs. A deputy does not have to be a family member, it can be a professional such as a Solicitor, Accountant or Financial Advisor.
I need a Deputyship Order, what do I do now?
Contact one of our specialist solicitors who will advise you of the process which includes arranging for a medical expert to carry out a capacity assessment for the purposes of the application and gathering information of assets. We offer a free initial appointment to discuss your needs so if you are unsure whether a deputyship order is needed contact our team for a no obligation chat.
Head of Private Client
Direct Dial 01924 387 171