If a loved one loses the mental capacity to deal with their own affairs, you may need to seek legal authority to help them. This is done by asking the Court of Protection to appoint you as their deputy.
At SMR Solicitors, we understand what a difficult time it is when a relative becomes unable to make their own decisions. Our solicitors dealing with Court of Protection matters can advise you on the steps to be taken and make an application on your behalf so that you can be made a deputy.
We have extensive experience across the full range of Court of Protection matters, including the following:
- Advising you as to the process of being appointed a deputy
- Applying to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order on your behalf
- Advising you in respect of Court of Protection deputyship
- Applying to the Court of Protection for one-off orders, for example, to enable the sale of a property
- Advice and assistance in respect of preparing and submitting deputyship reports and accounts
- Advice in respect of the preparation of a statutory Will
- Drafting of statutory Wills and applying to the Court of Protection for authorisation of statutory Wills
- Advice and representation in respect of disputes involving the Court of Protection
Our Court of Protection lawyers advise and represent clients across West Sussex. You will find us friendly and approachable, as well as being sympathetic to your situation. We will work with you in the way that best suits your needs, communicating via email or video link if this is preferable, as well as offering face-to-face meetings or phone calls.
We offer an initial 1-hour fixed fee consultation with you. This gives us the opportunity to explore your requirements, offer our advice and answer your questions. After the meeting, we will provide you with a detailed attendance note setting out the issues in question and our advice.
We offer flexible funding to suit different needs as well as fixed fee work for some situations.
To see our associated services, see Elderly Client Services.
For those who still have capacity but would like to appoint someone to act on their behalf in case this is needed in the future, there is the option to make an Enduring Power of Attorney.
Speak to our Court of Protection solicitors in West Sussex
To discuss your requirements and find out how we can help, please get in touch to speak to one of our expert separation agreement lawyers.
Our Court of Protection solicitors’ fees
We know that costs will be of concern, and we always make sure that we provide a fair and clear estimate of the likely fees at the outset. We will also give you a list of other potential expenses, such as the Court of Protection application fee.
We offer fixed fee Court of Protection agreements in certain circumstances and to cover set work such as making an application to the court for a deputyship order.
Where the issue is more complicated, we will agree our hourly rate with you before work commences. This will be based on the level of expertise required.
If you would like to discuss the possible costs involved in obtaining a deputyship order from the Court of Protection or other assistance in respect of someone no longer able to deal with their affairs, please feel free to contact us, and we will be happy to offer all the assistance we can at this difficult time.
The Court of Protection explained
What is the Court of Protection?
The Court of Protection is the court that looks after the affairs of people who do not have sufficient mental capacity to make their own decisions. This could be because of learning difficulties, dementia, disability or illness.
The Court can authorise decisions on behalf of vulnerable individuals and also has the power to appoint a deputy to deal with their affairs. It will oversee the deputyship, requiring the filing of annual reports and accounts.
A deputy can be appointed to deal with either property and financial affairs and/or health and welfare matters. It can also authorise a statutory Will, which is a Will made on behalf of someone who is no longer able to do this themselves.
The Court can also be asked to decide on contentious matters, such as whether an attorney appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney should be removed or where there is an allegation of deprivation of liberty.
Can I be a Court of Protection deputy?
A deputy appointed by the Court of Protection must be at least 18 years old. The appointment will generally be of a family member or close friend of the individual. The role can be time-consuming and onerous, and it is advisable to think carefully about whether you are both able and willing to become someone’s deputy.
If the individual’s affairs are complex, the Court of Protection may prefer to appoint a professional deputy, such as a solicitor with relevant expertise. If you wish to be appointed yourself, you can still call on the assistance of a solicitor to help you with the application and ongoing administration and compliance with the Court’s rules.
At SMR Solicitors, we assist deputies throughout their time managing the affairs of their loved ones to ensure that they have the support they need and that the reporting requirements of the Court of Protection are met.
What decisions can a Court of Protection deputy make?
A deputy may be appointed in respect of either someone’s property and financial affairs or in respect of their health and welfare.
A property and financial affairs deputy can deal with the individual’s accounts, pay their bills, including care home fees where necessary, manage their investments and sell their home.
A health and welfare deputy will manage the care side of the person’s needs, including deciding where they will live, what their daily life will look like and what medical treatments they will receive.
How can you sell someone’s home to pay for care fees?
If someone’s home needs to be sold to pay for care fees, the consent of the Court of Protection will be needed unless they appointed an attorney before they lost mental capacity.
The Court of Protection may have granted a deputyship in respect of property and financial affairs, but it is still often recommended that a separate order is obtained confirming that the deputy has authority to sell the person’s home.
What is a Statutory Will?
A statutory Will is one made on behalf of an individual after they have lost the capacity to do this themselves. It is not a simple matter to arrange, but it may be advisable where there has been a change in the person’s circumstances or where a Will would be beneficial for tax or other reasons.
The Court of Protection has the authority to make and ratify a Will where it is considered necessary. It will take into account the views of those close to the individual in making its decision.