Speak to our legal experts on
01924 387 171
8 September 2021
Taking care of someone’s affairs when they no longer have mental capacity can lead to a significant amount of difficulty and distress. Both Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyships grant the nominated attorneys / deputy the legal authority to manage a person’s affairs on their behalf, but a Deputyship will often prove to be more costly and time consuming to obtain.
Lasting Powers of Attorney can only be made when someone has sufficient mental capacity to understand the document and the agreement they’re entering into. If this is no longer the case, an LPA can not be made, and a deputyship order will need to be applied for. Our advice is generally to put in place an LPA long before they’re needed, to avoid your loved ones having to apply for a Deputyship further down the line.
A Deputyship allows someone to take over another’s financial, property and health and welfare decisions when that person no longer has the capacity. This often comes at a time when a loved one may need to move into permanent residential care. In this situation, the family may be left to sell a property, arrange for payment of care fees or pay bills which at the time they have no legal authority to do. This is by no means the only situation in which a deputyship may be required though. A Deputyship may be required when a person of any age loses mental capacity, or the ability to express their wishes. This situation may come about as a result of accident or illness, and can be required at any point in someone’s life.
The Court of Protection is the Court that is responsible for granting Deputyships. The process of making an Application to the Court will involve a medical expert carrying out a capacity assessment to verify that the 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. This could be anyone over the age of 18 years old that can prove to the Court of Protection they can be responsible for managing someone else’s affairs. A deputy does not have to be a family member, and it could even be a professional such as a Solicitor, Accountant or Financial Advisor.
If you need to arrange a Deputyship, our specialist solicitors can help represent you and guide you through the process of applying to the Court of Protection. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your needs, so if you are unsure whether a deputyship order is needed contact our team for a no obligation chat.