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The Court of Protection and Deputy Applications

The Court of Protection

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 applies to England and Wales and provides a framework to empower and protect people who may lack capacity to make certain decisions for themselves. Under the Act, the Court of Protection makes decisions and appoints deputies to act on the individual’s behalf. If the individual concerned has lost mental capacity and has no Power of Attorney in place, this is the only way to administer that individual’s affairs.

In the case of emergency applications where an individual is in immediate danger or at risk, the Court of Protection can deal with these cases within 24 hours.

The Court has the power to:

• decide about the personal welfare, property and financial affairs of an individual
• make declarations about a person’s capacity to make a decision
• decide in relation to serious medical treatment cases, about the withdrawal or withholding of treatment to a person who lacks capacity

• appoint a Deputy to make ongoing decisions on behalf of a person who lacks capacity, in relation to either the person’s personal welfare or property and financial affairs.

The Court also has the power to make decisions about a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney, including whether the power is valid, objections to registration, the scope of Attorney powers and the removal of Attorney powers.

Iain Robson, a partner at Close Thornton Solicitors, is a specialist in this field and can advise at every stage of the application process. 

Iain Robson, Partner - Email   

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Telephone: 01325 376908 

Deputy Applications

A deputy is someone appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions for an individual who is unable to do so on their own. Once appointed, the deputy will be responsible for making decisions for someone until either the person they are looking after dies or is able to make decisions on their own again.

The court won’t appoint someone as deputy if the person is able to make their own decisions. In such cases, a Lasting Power of Attorney may be the more appropriate option.

There are two types of deputy:

  •    Those who look after property and financial affairs   
  •    Those who look after a person’s health and welfare
    There can be more than one person appointed to each type of deputy.

Who can be a deputy?

A deputy is usually a close friend or relative of the person who needs help making decisions. However, a deputy can also be a professional, such as an accountant or a solicitor. Local authorities are sometimes appointed as a deputy. Deputies must be over 18.

The Court of Protection can appoint a ‘panel deputy’ to look after someone’s financial affairs if no one else can do this. A panel deputy is someone with specialist knowledge of mental capacity law.

Iain Robson, a partner at Close Thornton Solicitors, is a specialist in this field and can advise at every stage of the application process. 

Iain Robson, Partner - Email 

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Telephone: 01325 376908

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