What is a deputyship order?
If someone close to you has lost their mental capacity and does not have an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), you may need to apply to the court of protection for a deputyship order (if you are living in England or Wales).
Losing mental capacity can be a daunting thought, as it can mean that the person affected is no longer able to understand or make decisions for themselves.
The main impacts of this include a limited ability to:
- Understand information to inform their own decisions
- Retain and recall information
- Communicate their decisions
Why might you need to obtain a deputyship order?
If someone loses mental capacity, it means that the person cannot understand nor make decisions for themselves. This can be caused by:
- A serious brain injury or health issues
- Severe learning disabilities
Every case is different, for example; some people have the mental capacity to feed and dress themselves, but may be unable to manage their finances. If you are successful in your application, your role as court of protection deputy will include making decisions for that person based on their best interests and, if possible, use the person's previous decisions as a guide.
What types of deputyship order applications are available?
There are currently two types of Deputyship orders:
- Property and Financial affairs
- Personal Welfare
Most people require a 'Property and Financial Affairs' deputyship order to ensure the ongoing of the person’s financial affairs.
Our team will work with you to ensure you are applying for the right type of deputyship order, assist in completing all the paperwork required for your application, and liaise with all relevant parties.
We appreciate that this can be a stressful time for those involved and want to make the process as simple as possible.
Role and duties of court of protection deputy
The court of protection's deputyship order will set out the deputy's powers. Below are five statutory principles in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 that must be followed:
- Every adult has the right to make decisions, and must be assumed to have capacity unless it is proven otherwise.
- People must be given all appropriate help before they can be considered unable to make their own decisions.
- Individuals have the right to make unwise decisions, including decisions that others may consider eccentric.
- Anything done for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be in their 'best interests'.
- Anything done for them or on their behalf should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms.
- Deputies are under a duty to apply a high standard of care when making decisions.
Who cannot be a court of protection deputy?
If you are applying to be a 'Property and Financial Affairs Deputy' and you are bankrupt or subject to a debt relief order, you must state this on the application form. These unfortunate circumstances will usually lead to the application being rejected and someone else will need to apply for this type of deputy role.
If you are bankrupt or subject to a debt relief order, you can still act as a 'Personal Welfare Deputy'.
Court of protection fees
When making an application to the court of protection, the following fees may apply:
- Application fee for each type of deputyship required = £400
- If the court decides that a hearing is necessary for the above = £500
If the court agrees that you should be a deputy, they will also charge:
- New deputy fee for each deputy = £100
- Annual supervision fee = £325*
*This will be payable in the first year but may be reduced to £35 if you are a 'Property and Financial affairs deputy' and the person’s estate is worth less than £21,000.
If you are a Property and Financial affairs deputy, you can claim back the application fees from the person’s funds that you are helping.
In addition to the court fees set out above, you will need to cover legal fees that are incurred for the work undertaken to prepare your court of protection deputy application.
Our team of advisors are on hand to discuss these costs, once we have had a brief chat with you about what you would like to achieve.
To start your court of protection deputy application, complete our simple form below and a member of our team will be in touch at a time that is most convenient for you.