The Court of Protection is there to look after the legal welfare of people who are unable to look after themselves because they have lost mental capacity.
When somebody loses the ability to make decisions for themselves, whether due to a disease like dementia or an injury to their brain, it is usually family members or close friends who step in to look after them. This often involves looking after their financial affairs and making decisions about their health and medical treatment.
Sadly, however, many people who step in to assist a relative or friend who has lost capacity find themselves facing an unexpected legal battle to take control of their finances and welfare.
Deputy vs. attorney
When somebody becomes mentally incapable and they have not appointed you to look after their affairs by means of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), then you must apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as their deputy.
You can only be somebody’s attorney if they make an LPA while they are still judged to be capable of making decisions for themselves. If they have not made any arrangements, this is where the Court of Protection and the deputyship process comes in.
There are two types of deputyship:
- Property and financial affairs – this enables you to take control of your loved one’s finances and property (e.g., paying bills, buying or selling property on their behalf or managing their pension)
- Health and welfare – this type of deputyship empowers you to make decisions about your loved one’s medical care. You will usually not need this type of deputyship, unless there are disagreements about your loved one’s care.
Applying to be somebody’s deputy can be a long and complicated process, especially when you are already dealing with the mental decline of a loved one.
This is why Attwaters Jameson Hill’s Court of Protection team is here.
We work side-by-side with family members and friends of loved ones who have lost capacity to help them through the legal process of applying for deputyship. This allows them to focus wholly on the person who needs their time, care and attention.
How we support you
When instructed by a client, we pledge to provide them with outstanding personal service and communication, unrivalled industry knowledge and a proven track record of advising our clients on Court of Protection work. We call this our Service Pledge: a promise that we will be responsive, communicative and always act with your best interests at heart.
From the outset, we help our clients to fully and efficiently deal with the whole deputyship application process, so that you get things right first time and minimise delays. The application process can be onerous, with multiple long forms to complete.
We know this can be daunting, so we offer a full support package where we will:
- Complete and send off the necessary paperwork.
- Assist you with notifying family and friends about your deputyship application where required by the Court.
- Manage the process from start to finish.
- Help you set up the financial side of things, e.g., maximising any benefits, grants or funding that may be available to your loved one.
- Help you set up living and accommodation arrangements and ensure these are paid for in the most efficient way.
- Assist with setting up the right support and care arrangements for your loved one, including sourcing the right team to provide your loved one with the very best of care. We can also advise you about the recruitment of private carers and other related issues.
- Ensure that you and your family are legally protected for the future, for example with a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney.
Once everything is in place, we’re on hand to provide ongoing support should you require it, for example by:
- Helping you to deal with the annual formalities that accompany deputyship, such as accounts, tax returns and annual reports to the Office of the Public Guardian.
- Dealing with any permissions that you require from the Court of Protection not covered under any existing order.
- Assisting with any questions or issues that may arise, whether relating to care, finances or staff.
- Helping you plan for the future so that any transition or succession issues are dealt with in good time.
- Reviewing everything with you periodically so that everything remains as relevant and as valuable as possible for your family.
The next step
When you are acting as deputy for a loved one, your hands are always full. So, let us be an extra pair of expert hands for you.
Our information and support services ensure that the deputyship application process flows smoothly and efficiently, removing any obstacles you may encounter along the way.
When you need us, we are just at the other end of the phone. Deputyship orders can be difficult to navigate and sometimes you just need to ask a professional for advice and assistance. We offer support and information to anybody who has (or would like) a Deputyship Order put in place. Our decades of experience means that there is very little that we haven’t encountered before – so you can rest assured that we’ll always be on hand with expert, empathetic advice tailored to your circumstances.
Ranked in Tier 3 in Legal 500 2024
‘Really warm and friendly approach. Lesley-Ann Mayhew is communicative, supportive, and very pleasant to work with’.
‘The team are responsive and easily contactable’.
Lesley-Ann Mayhew is interested in her client’s welfare, takes time to understand the issues at hand and provides the level of support that is required, adapting to different situations as needed’.