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Court of Protection
Fentons Solicitors has a department specialising in dealing with the Court of Protection. Our Court of Protection lawyers are experienced in making applications to the Court and acting as professional deputies.
If you require assistance, why not fill in the brief legal services enquiry form.
What is the Court of Protection?
The Court of Protection and its administrative arm, the Office of the Public Guardian, help to protect the financial affairs of people who have lost their mental capacity. The Court of Protection has the power to decide if someone lacks mental capacity, having regard to medical evidence. If someone is no longer capable of dealing with their own financial affairs or personal welfare, an application will need to be made to apply to the Court of Protection for a 'deputy' to be appointed. The deputy will have the power to make financial and, in some cases, welfare decisions, for someone who does not have capacity to make those decisions for themselves.
As a specialist personal injury firm, we often deal with clients who have lost the mental capacity to manage their own property and affairs due to an accident or negligence. When we have recovered damages in these cases, we will assist our client and their family or friends in making an application to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a deputy. We also often act in cases involving clients who lack capacity due to cerebral palsy, brain injury, learning difficulties or dementia.
Who can be appointed as a Deputy?
Anyone over the age of 18 years can apply to be appointed as a deputy. However, the Court of Protection must approve the appointment. If an Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney has already been made before the person lost their capacity to manage their affairs, then a deputy may not be required as the Attorney may already have the authority to make financial and welfare decisions.
When should a Professional Deputy be appointed?
Dealing with the Court of Protection and Office of the Public Guardian can be time consuming and complex. In many cases, in order to make things easier for our clients, we act as a professional deputy. We do this where the client's needs are complicated and they have been awarded substantial damages for injuries sustained as a result of an accident or negligence.
In this role, we often visit the client in their home and we always consult with their family and friends throughout. We do this to ensure that we are always acting in the best interests of our client and, where possible, in accordance with their own wishes.
What are the responsibilities of a Deputy?
The Court of Protection will issue an Order giving the deputy powers over the financial affairs of the mentally incapable person. The deputy must always consider whether they have authority under the Order to act on behalf of the mentally incapable person and whether the person they act for has capacity to make each and every decision themselves and where possible allow them to make that decision. Someone who lacks the capacity to manage their financial affairs in general may have the capacity to, for example, make a will.
The deputy's responsibilities may include maintaining a bank account, making investments, paying bills, claiming benefits, purchasing specialist equipment, employing carers, filing tax returns, etc.
The Court of Protection closely monitors the actions of the deputy to ensure that they are acting in the best interests of the mentally incapable person at all times.
A person who does not have the capacity to deal with their financial affairs does not necessarily lack the capacity to make a will. We can help such clients to make a will for themselves.
If, however, the client is unable to make their own will, we can make an application to the Court of Protection for a statutory will, which will take into account the wishes of the client wherever possible.
How can Fentons help?
Fentons Court of Protection lawyers can help guide you through the application process or, if you prefer, act as a professional deputy.
If you require further assistance, why not fill in the brief legal services enquiry form.
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