The main aim of the Court of Protection is to make decisions on behalf of or affecting people who lack capacity. The Court can be involved in many ways, although the most common order they will make is to appoint deputies. The Court’s power can extend to applications for statutory Wills and dealings with property, as well as making decisions about medical treatment and how someone should be looked after.
A deputy is appointed to look after the finances or welfare of the person who lacks capacity. The deputy is usually a family member or a friend. The deputy must be over 18 and have the skills to make decisions on behalf of someone else.
Becoming a deputy can be a burdensome responsibility, and anyone looking into the possibility of such appointment should seek legal advice.
The process for applying to be someone’s deputy can be difficult and time consuming. After all, the proposed deputy is asking the Court to make an important decision on behalf of someone they do not know. Therefore, a lot of information must be provided to the Court to enable them to make the right decision.
In addition to completing many forms, the person who lacks capacity must be personally notified. There is also a requirement to notify at least three members of the family who are likely to have an interest in being notified; those family members are set in descending order by the Court of Protection.
Once all the steps above have been completed, the Court of Protection will consider making a decision based on whether any objections are received. They may be able to release an order without further evidence, or they may investigate further points. In some rare cases, the Court will arrange for a formal hearing to take place.
Once the Court of Protection agrees to issuing an order confirming the appointment of a deputy, they will also set the amount of the security bond. The security bond works as an insurance policy with an annual premium required to be paid, prior to the order being released by the Court of Protection.
Once the Court has released the order, the deputy’s responsibility continues on an annual basis. Annual accounts must be provided to the Court to show the expenditure made on behalf of the person who lacks capacity, as well as confirmation and information about major decisions that have been made in respect of finances and welfare. The Court may also arrange for the deputy to be supervised, which can include supervision visits.
Andrea is a Principal Lawyer at Verisona Law, specialising in Wills, probate and tax planning. She also advises on lasting powers of attorney and declarations of trust in relation to property ownership. Andrea is often asked to advise elderly parents and their children on the issue of trust of the family home and gift of the family home to the children.
Many clients regard her as their ‘family’s solicitor’ and come back to her whenever they need legal advice. Clients have appointed her to act as their Attorney in the event that they become unable to manage their own affairs and she has acted in this capacity on a number of occasions.
Andrea is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly.
“We are very pleased with the highly professional service that we have received from you. We will certainly use your company in future when we have legal work to be done and strongly recommend you to others.”
Anon, April 2019
Hayley is Head of Wills, Probate & Trusts at Verisona Law.
Hayley started her journey at Verisona Law in 2008 as a Trainee solicitor, and now heads up the Wills, Trusts and Probate team. She has a particular interest in dealing with the administration of estates and associated tax matters. Hayley has worked on a wide variety of cases, including some notably high value estates and she regularly provides advice to clients regarding Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Hayley is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
Iain has an extensive history with Verisona Law and its predecessors, having first joined Dyer Burdett and Co back in 1997 after moving from Chichester where he practised for 20 years and still lives. Iain went on to become a Partner in the firm and successfully headed up the Probate, Trusts and Conveyancing department.
In 2004 Iain became a consultant and has continued in this role ever since. Following the merger with Gray Purdue, he now works as a consultant for Verisona Law, overseeing improvements to our
Probate department. Nevertheless, as a result of his invaluable experience, impeccable reputation and long standing client base, Iain continues to undertake a number of conveyancing transactions,
and provides assistance on Wills, Trust and Probate files.