If you have a loved one who has unfortunately lost the ability to make important decisions, and there is no Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) or Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place, it will be necessary to make an application to the Court of Protection if you need to manage their financial affairs.
Safeguarding the rights of those who lack capacity
The role of the Court of Protection is to safeguard the rights of those who lack the capacity to make their own decisions on matters such as finances, property and welfare. They do this through appointing what is known as a ‘Deputy’. This can be a relative, friend, or a solicitor.
Expert advice for dealing with the Court of Protection
If you have found yourself in this situation, we appreciate what an overwhelming time it can be. The good news is that our friendly experts are here to support you when you need it most.
Our Court of Protection solicitors can help with everything, including:
- Applying to become a Court of Protection Deputy
- Advice for those acting as Court of Protection Deputies
- Applications to deal with specific matters, such as selling a house
- Applying to the Court for a Statutory Will
- Resolving Court of Protection disputes
It is always a good idea to have people on your side who truly know their way around the law when it comes to Court of Protection matters, as these can often be complex in nature, and the processes involved fairly time-consuming.
Here at Pickering & Butters we have dedicated specialists ready to help. With extensive experience and an ability to make everything seem clear and straightforward, we hope you’ll feel that a weight has been lifted.
Get expert help from our specialist Court of Protection solicitors
Why choose Pickering & Butters Court of Protection solicitors?
Specialist expertise and decades of experience
Our team are experts in Court of Protection law, having supported vulnerable people and their loved ones for many years. We can therefore offer seasoned legal advice with a complete understanding of all of the requirements that need to be met to ensure someone without mental capacity gets the full support they need.
Sensible, practical legal advice for the most challenging situations
It can be tough having to make the right choices to protect a vulnerable person and ensure their needs are met. Our Court of Protection solicitors provide clear, sensible advice based on our years of experience, ensuring you get the right practical arrangements in place as quickly and easily as possible.
Sensitive support from people who care
Dealing with vulnerable people and their needs can be very emotionally challenging, so we think it is vital to provide sensitive, compassionate support for Court of Protection Deputies and anyone else caring for a vulnerable person.
Every detail covered so you can be confident you are meeting your responsibilities
Acting as a Court of Protection Deputy can be a demanding role, with many different issues to consider, both in terms of making sure a vulnerable person’s needs are provided for and meeting the reporting requirements of the Office of the Public Guardian. We can work closely with you to ensure all of these points are covered, giving you peace of mind.
The Court of Protection explained
Mental capacity – This refers to whether someone has the ability to understand and retain the information needed to make key decisions about their affairs, then make those decisions themselves. A Court of Protection Deputy can only be appointed where someone is deemed by appropriate experts to lack mental capacity.
Deputy – The person appointed by the Court of Protection to assist someone without mental capacity to make decisions about their affairs, or to make those decisions on their behalf.
Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) – The government body responsible for helping to make sure vulnerable people’s affairs are managed in their best interests. The OPG is ultimately responsible for overseeing how Court of Protection Deputies carry out their duties and dealing with any concerns about a Deputy.
How long does it take to become a Court of Protection Deputy?
This will depend on the situation, but commonly it takes around six months for a Court of Protection Deputy to be appointed.
What responsibilities does a Court of Protection Deputy have?
The exact responsibilities will depend on the type of Court of Protection Deputyship granted, of which there are two:
Property and financial affairs deputy – Deals with matters such as collecting the vulnerable person’s benefits/pension, paying bills and dealing with their home.
Personal welfare deputy – Makes decisions about a vulnerable person’s medical treatment and personal care e.g. their diet.
There are also more general responsibilities a Court of Protection Deputy has, including:
- Ensuring all decisions they make are in the best interests of the vulnerable person they are supporting
- Involving the vulnerable person in making those decisions as much as possible
- Keeping other people with an interest in the vulnerable person’s wellbeing informed of the decisions they are making
- Sending an annual report to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) explaining any decisions they have made
What is a Statutory Will?
Where someone is deemed to lack mental capacity and does not have a valid Will, or their existing Will needs to be updated, it is possible to apply to the Court of Protection to make a Statutory Will.
A Statutory Will sets out how the vulnerable person’s estate should be dealt with in the event of their death. The terms of a Statutory Will should reflect what the vulnerable person would have wanted to happen if they still had capacity to make a Will themselves.
Our Court of Protection solicitors can advise on whether applying for a Statutory Will is appropriate and, where required, guide you through the process of applying to the Court.
What can you do if you are concerned about the actions of a Court of Protection Deputy?
If you have concerns about the conduct of a Court of Protection Deputy (e.g. around misuse of money or you believe they are not making decisions in the best interests of the subject of the Deputyship), then you can report this to the Office of the Public Guardian.
Your report will need to include details of the Deputy and the subject of the Deputyship, your specific concerns, when you first become concerned and any evidence to support your concerns.
Our Court of Protection solicitors can advise you on these requirements and whether we believe your concerns may be valid. We can then assist you in preparing your report, so you can be confident the Office of the Public Guardian has all the information needed to protect the best interests of the vulnerable person you are concerned about.
Our Court of Protection fees
Complete transparency around fees is important, so we will always be happy to provide clear information on exactly what costs are involved in dealing with your Court of Protection matter.
For some matters, we may be able to operate on a fixed fee basis e.g. for making a standard Court of Protection Deputyship application. This makes the costs involved completely clear.
For more complex matters, we may charge an hourly rate to cover ongoing legal support. This hourly rate will depend on the level of expertise needed to meet your needs.
Our Court of Protection solicitors will be happy to discuss the likely costs involved in servicing your requirements over the phone or by email.
You can also take a look at our pricing for more general information about our legal fees.