When a person cannot look after their own affairs because they are suffering with some kind of mental impairment then they may need someone to look after matters for them. If a person has lost capacity before he or she has had the opportunity to make a lasting power of attorney, then will be necessary instead to apply for the appointment of a deputy.
The Court of Protection is a specialist court that makes decisions about a person’s finances or welfare when that person has been assessed as not having the mental capacity to make the decisions themselves. The Court of Protection is also responsible for appointing deputies. If the Court of Protection does appoint a deputy, that person will be authorised to make decisions on that person’s behalf and the court order will set out the scope of the deputy’s powers.
There are two kinds of deputyship:
- property and affairs – a deputy will be able to make decisions about a person’s financial affairs, such as paying bills and may also include the sale and purchase of property;
- health and welfare – a deputy will be able to make decisions about a person’s care and treatment. However, a deputy will never be able to refuse consent to life sustaining treatment. In fact, orders appointing health and welfare deputies are rare as the Court of Protection generally prefers all individuals interested in a person’s welfare to work together to come a decision in that person’s best interests, or only make orders in specific circumstances.
The process of applying for a deputyship can be a confusing one. Taking on the role of a deputy is a big responsibility. If you are thinking about applying to be deputy for a family member or someone you know, then at MJC Law we can guide you through the process by advising and preparing the application on your behalf. We are more than happy to discuss your requirements with you.