Find out how to become a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection for someone who is unable to manage their own financial or legal matters.
What exactly is the Juvenile and Family Court?
You are granted the authority to act on behalf of someone who has lost the ability to make decisions for themselves but has not appointed a power of attorney through the Court of Protection.
A person must have the mental competence to comprehend and manage their own financial matters in order to create a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). If they have already lost that capability, it is possible that it is too late for them to finish and register an application for an LPA.
In this scenario, one of their relatives needs to make an application to the Court of Protection in order to be appointed as their deputy. Being appointed as someone’s deputy grants you the authority to act on behalf of another person.
On the Later Life Care website, there is further information regarding the Mental Capacity Act that may be accessed.
In the event that you would like to establish a Power of Attorney, which? Wills can be helpful; research your options to see which one is right for you.
Who decides if someone has mental capacity?
Everyone ought to have the ability to decide what they want to do with their own life. However, an individual’s capability to understand complicated options and make judgments can be hindered by an illness, injury, or handicap in some cases.
People whose interests need to be protected when they lack the mental capacity to make decisions about their own care and treatment are safeguarded by the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which was passed in England and Wales in 2005. Additionally, it gives people the ability to make their own decisions for as long as they possibly can.
The legislation provides several important safeguards, including the following:
In the absence of evidence to the contrary following an evaluation by a health expert, one should always proceed under the assumption that an individual is capable of making their own decisions.
When it’s at all practicable, individuals should be encouraged and supported in making their own decisions.
Any decisions that are taken on someone else’s behalf have an obligation to be in that person’s best interests.
Legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland that is analogous to this protects the interests of people who may lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves:
Act of 2000 Relating to Adults with Incapacity in Scotland
The Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016, which came into effect in 2016.
People in hospitals or care homes who do not have the mental capacity to care for themselves are protected from having their rights violated by a series of protections known as the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).
DoLS protocol needs to be followed in the event that medical staff intends to restrict the freedom of a patient or resident because the individual lacks the capacity to give informed consent regarding their care.
It is intended to guarantee that care is provided in a manner that is appropriate and in the best interests of the individual, that care arrangements are routinely assessed and reviewed, and that individuals have the right to a representative who will look out for their interests.
More in-depth information concerning the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards can be found on the Alzheimer’s Society website. Beginning in April 2022, a whole new system that will be known as the Liberty Protection Safeguards will take the place of DoLS.
Instructions for Making an Application to the Court of Protection
You are required to submit an application to the Court of Protection in order to be appointed as a deputy in order to act on behalf of another individual in the absence of a lasting power of attorney.
There are two different kinds of deputyships, namely:
The management of one’s resources and finances
Wellness of the individual (for making decisions about medical treatment and how someone is looked after)
You have the option of applying to be either one or both of these types of deputies. In the event that you are appointed, the court will issue an order specifying the range of your authority.
If there is no family member who is able to take on the role of deputy, the Court of Protection may choose to appoint a neutral third party, such as a lawyer or an accountant. Those who serve in this position as professionals have the right to demand payment for their services.
Fees charged by the Court of Protection
When compared to applying for an LPA, the cost of applying to be a deputy is higher. The application price is 365 pounds, and you may have to pay additional expenses in addition to that. These fees may include the cost of a solicitor if you engage one to assist you in preparing your application. In addition, there is an annual payment.
The procedure takes significantly more time than the application for Power of Attorney, and it is possible that a medical report will be necessary.
In addition to the price required to submit an application, the Court requires deputies to also pay an annual supervision charge.
If you are a financial deputy handling more than £21,000, this can cost you £320, but if you are responsible for less than £21,000, it will only cost you £35.
You will also be required to pay an assessment fee of one hundred pounds.
Putting up money for a surety bond
It is possible that if you have been designated as a deputy by the Court of Protection that you may be required to present an annual report of the acts that you have taken.
You are required to make a bond payment to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) in order to protect the financial assets of the person whose deputy you are, in the event that those assets are mismanaged by either you or someone else.
The price of the bond is determined to some extent by the magnitude of the estate in question.
Taking steps to become a deputy
After the court has appointed you as a deputy, you will need to be registered with each bank and financial institution in the same manner that an attorney registers a power of attorney. This can be done by providing each institution with a copy of the court order appointing you as a deputy.
In our tutorial on establishing a power of attorney, you’ll discover detailed instructions on how to carry out this procedure.
Make sure to include a request for the return of the official copy of the court order that you send out. You can order additional copies by writing to the Court of Protection and paying £5 for each one.