Lost Capacity - FAQs
Who is the Court of Protection?
The Court of Protection is a specialist court that deals with guardianship and other issues for people who are lacking the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.
What Decisions does the Deputy make?
The Court of protection will allow a deputy to make decisions in relation to Property & Affairs deputyship, a deputy once chosen can then make decisions and look after the person’s finances and property.
Property & Affairs deputyship is the most common type of deputyship that is applied for, you must apply to become a deputy if you think someone needs help managing their affairs due to loss of capacity. If they already have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place then there is no need to apply to the court of protection.
What is a Deputy?
The deputy is the person who is appointed who the court decides is able to make decisions on behalf of the person who lacks capacity, this can be about matter relating to Property & Finances or Health & Welfare.
Who Can be a Deputy?
The court usually prefers a family member or close friend to be appointed as a deputy. It is however possible that a Solicitor, Accountant or a member of a social services will be appointed.
How Many People can act as a Deputy?
The court will allow more than one deputy to be appointed, the deputy’s will be appointed so they can act either Jointly or Jointly & Severally.
How much does applying cost?
The court fees are set by the Court of Protection at £365.00, you will each year also be required to pay an insurance premium for a Surety Bond which is a requirement of the court which protects the assets of the person who lacks capacity.
What Duties can a Deputy undertake?
You will be advised by the courts which decisions you are allowed to make. If there is a change in circumstances of the person who has lost capacity then you are able to go back to the courts to ask that other decisions can be made. When acting as a deputy you have specific responsibilities on how you should act.
- Act with a Duty of Care towards the person who has lost capacity.
- Do not take advantage of the situation and also respect the persons confidentiality
- Do not delegate your duties unless you have authorisation to do so
- Always comply with the directions given by the court of protection.
- As a Property & Affairs Deputy you will be required to Keep Account and also keep the persons money separately to yours.
You must also inform the following people that you are now responsible for the persons Property & Affairs:
- Speak to your Local Authority if housing benefits are being received.
- Department of Work & Pensions for any Pension or Benefit entitlements.
- Bank or Building Societies.
- Care Home or Nursing Home where the person might live.
- Any payer of private pensions.
What Decisions can the court of protection make?
The Court of Protection are able to rule on a wide range of issues, this issues include.
- Who should be appointed as a deputy.
- What Powers and Decisions a Deputy can make.
- Decide if a Deputy needs to be removed.
- What type of medical treatment people receive.
How Long does the process take?
The Court of Protection process take around 3-6 months, although this does depend on the workload of the Court at the time of your application. If you application is urgent then we are able to ask the Court to make an urgent decision but it would then be down to them to decide if they believe the application should be treated as urgent.
Will I Have to attend a Court Hearing?
The majority of applications will not require you to attend a hearing. Attending a hearing is only usually needed in cases where someone objects to the application being made or there is a dispute. If a hearing is needed a fee will need to be paid to the courts and a hearing will take place at a court either in London or a court closed to your home.
What Happens once I have been appointed?
The court will write to you and advise you once you have been appointed. If you are a deputy for Property & Financial decisions then a security bond will need to be in place before the court releases the order appointing you as a deputy.
The Court will provide you with information on how to arrange the security bond.
What is a Security Bond?
A security bond is required for all deputies appointed for Property & Financial affairs, the bond is an insurance policy which is designed to protect the assets of the person who has lost capacity should in the unlikely event that the appointed deputy misuse their funds or assets.