Where an individual has lost capacity to handle their affairs or make decisions about their health and care without having made Lasting Powers of Attorney, the Court of Protection can make a Deputyship Order giving someone power to make these decisions and conduct legal formalities on their behalf.
Applying for a Deputyship Order is an involved process and the Court requires a lot of information and evidence before an Order is made, to ensure the Deputy appointed is suitable. There is then an ongoing obligation on the Deputy to report to the Court with regard to decisions made and how the individual’s affairs are handled.
How is a Deputyship Order obtained?
When an individual has lost capacity to handle their financial affairs for themselves and does not have a Lasting Power of Attorney, it will not usually be possible for their affairs to be managed or their property sold without a Deputyship Order being in place authorising someone to do this on their behalf. An application has to be made on prescribed forms, providing evidence as to the person’s assets and liabilities, background and current living arrangements. A report from a qualified medical professional also has to be obtained confirming the individual has lost capacity. Notice of the application has to be given to family members in a strict order.
The Deputyship application forms can be complex and care is needed to ensure the correct wording is included in the application, to ensure the Deputy is granted sufficient powers in the final Order to manage the person’s affairs efficiently. This can include requiring power to deal with sale of a Property.
The Deputy then has a duty to report to the Court annually and is subject to supervision to ensure the individual is sufficiently protected.
Applications can also be made to the Court of Protection for “one off” decisions which might relate to a specific aspect of a person’s finances, for example authority to sell a jointly owned property, or a decision in relation to a person’s care, for example whether they undergo a certain course of treatment or an operation.
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