The Court of Protection is a part of the High Court which oversees the best interests of anyone lacking mental capacity.
Our private client solicitors, based across all three of our offices, are specialists in making applications to the Court of Protection.
An individual can apply to the Court of Protection to become a Deputy for somebody who doesn’t have the mental capacity to manage some or all of their own affairs. This may be through illness, brain injury, dementia or learning difficulties for example.
There are two types of Deputy; a Property and Affairs Deputy who may deal with paying bills and managing monies for example; and a Personal Welfare Deputy who may make decisions about where you live or what sort of medication you take.
To become a Deputy, an individual must be over 18 and is usually a family member or close friend of the person concerned. In order to be a Property and Affairs Deputy you must of course be able to manage money and make financial decisions.
For a Personal Welfare application you will also need the Court's permission to apply to become a deputy prior to making the application.
There are some detailed forms to complete in order to apply to become a Deputy, the four main types being an application form, a Deputy's declaration containing information about the individual applying to become a Deputy, an assessment of capacity form (in part completed by a GP, Social Worker or medical practitioner) and a supporting information form. We will assist you in completing these forms and ensure that the Court of Protection have all of the relevant information in order to be able to issue the application.
When the Court of Protection receives the deputyship application from us they will issue the application form by way of acknowledgement and the proposed Deputy must tell the person whom the application is about, and certain family members, within a 21 day time-frame. Once relevant parties have been informed we have a strict seven day timetable within which we confirm back to the Court that we have complied with the notification procedure. Provided there are no objections from those notified and that Court of Protection are satisfied, the Deputyship Order will be issued after 21 days. The whole process usually takes between 6 to 9 months, the main variation being how long the capacity assessment takes to obtain.
In terms of fees there is a £400 application fee which must be sent in with the application (but in some cases you’ll also need to pay £500 if the court decides your case needs a hearing); there is also a £100 Deputy assessment fee at the outset for new Deputies. You must pay an annual supervision fee depending on what level of supervision your deputyship needs and in most cases it will be £320.
You will be required to maintain an insurance bond to protect the value of the assets that you are managing in property and affairs cases, and the premiums for this can vary. You will also have to produce an annual report in respect of your role to give reasons for your decisions and why they were in the best interests of the person you’re Deputy for, explaining how you have taken into account other relevant viewpoints within that process too.
In some cases there is no-one suited to the position of Deputy, in such cases one of the Partners in our firm may apply the role of Deputy instead.
We also always work on the basis that we will only do the work that you want us to do, without pressuring you to take up services that you don't want or need right now. Our transparency with costs and pricing also means that we will only ever charge you for what we do - rather than taking percentage of what you inherit.
For advice and assistance on Court of Protection contact our Wills, Trusts and Probate solicitors today. Bray & Bray has three main offices in Leicestershire, contact us to discuss an enquiry or a case you have or feel free to pop in and see us at your local office by clicking on the links below:
Leicester call us on 0116 254 8871.
Hinckley call us on 01455 639 900.
Market Harborough call us on 01858 467 181.
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