Deputyships – Court of Protection
Here at Tayntons we have an experienced team of lawyers ready to help clients when their relatives or loved ones require the Court of Protection to step in and help manage their affairs.
Looking after someone else’s affairs
You may need to help a loved one when they are unable to manage their affairs due to injury or illness. If they have set up a Lasting Power of Attorney or an Enduring Power of Attorney, these can be used to make decisions on their behalf when appropriate to do so.
However, if no attorney has been appointed then you would need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship order which would grant authority to make decisions on their behalf.
Who can be a Deputy?
A prospective deputy must be over the age of 18 and will need to declare any criminal convictions or bankruptcy arrangements in the deputyship application. These could lead to the application being refused.
If there is no-one able or willing to act in this capacity, the local authority may be appointed if the estate is low value, or a professional deputy may be appropriate, such as a solicitor. Tayntons have a number of Partner’s capable of acting in that capacity. Where there are disputes as to who should act or if there is a large complex estate, then a professional deputy may be preferred over the appointment of a lay person.
What are the Powers and Duties of a Deputy?
A Deputy’s powers will come from the deputyship order made by the Court of Protection. The appointed Deputy cannot act outside of those powers and further applications may be required to extend the powers where needed.
Usually, the Court will grant the following powers:
- Powers to make gifts on customary occasions and of reasonable value considering the size of the estate;
- Powers to access financial accounts;
- Powers to make gifts to charity; and
- Powers to sign deeds and documents on behalf of the person you are acting for.
There are a number of powers which are not automatically granted, please do speak with a solicitor if you wish to do any of the following
- Sell, purchase, let or charge a property (such as taking out equity release or entering a deferred payment scheme);
- Appoint a trustee for the sale of the property (where there is more than one proprietor);
- Access foreign assets; or
- Appoint an investment manager.
The Deputy’s full duties are set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and a Deputy will need to agree to act in accordance with those duties as part of the application. Full details of these duties are laid out in the COP4 Deputy’s declaration.
The Court of Protection places a number of obligations on the Deputy to protect and safeguard the person lacking capacity. A deputy will need to obtain a security bond and comply with the supervision of the court and the Office of the Public Guardian. They will also need to submit an annual report which provides an overview of the person’s assets and details any significant decisions made that year.
Supervision and Termination of Deputyships
Deputies are supervised and monitored by the Office of the Public Guardian and may have different levels of supervision depending on the complexity of the case and the size of the estate.
A deputyship order is terminated when the person lacking capacity dies or recovers capacity. It can also end by order of the Court or Protection or on application by the Deputy, if they wish to retire or resign, which would then enable a new Deputy to be appointed.
If you have any concerns about a Deputy or would like further guidance and support in your role as Deputy, then you can speak with the Office of the Public Guardian who will be able to help you.
Health and Welfare
Unlike Lasting Powers of Attorney, health and welfare deputyships are very rare and the Court are reluctant to make them for general purposes. However, Tayntons are able to advise and guide you through the social care process for making best interest decisions and where needed, help you put your best case forward for challenging local authority decisions.
For more information on issues of health and social care law please click here.
Why choose Tayntons Solicitors?
Tayntons solicitors and lawyers have years of experience helping people with all aspects of deputyship in Gloucester, and throughout Gloucestershire, including Cheltenham and the Forest of Dean as well as covering the rest of the UK.
We have the expertise to make handling the affairs of a loved one who needs your support as simple and straightforward as possible, giving you complete peace of mind that they are being looked after appropriately. We will talk through everything you need to know in plain English, so you can be absolutely sure you are making the right decisions and know what to expect at all times.
Tayntons is Lexcel accredited by the Law Society for our excellent practice management and client care and we are independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Get in touch with our Court of Protection solicitors in Gloucester
Need help with an aspect of Court of Protection in Gloucester, Cheltenham, the Forest of Dean or anywhere in Gloucestershire or anywhere in the UK?