19 June 2015 by

Court of Protection Panel Deputy Appointment

The Court of Protection oversees the protection of the affairs of individuals who lack mental capacity. A Deputy is someone who is appointed to act for an individual in respect of their financial affairs when they lack the mental capacity to do so themselves and have not prepared a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney during their lifetime.

An application for a Deputy can take many months and can be particularly expensive. The Court will need to establish that the person to whom the application relates does not have sufficient capacity to manage their own financial affairs and that the person who has applied to be the Deputy is sufficiently capable and close to the person concerned.

Often there will be disputes within the relevant family about who should manage the financial affairs of the person concerned and this can lead to a Court hearing to determine who should be appointed. Ultimately, if the Court feels that none of the proposed appointees would be in the best interests of the person concerned, it can appoint a professional Deputy instead. A professional Deputy will also be appointed by the Court of Protection in situations where there is no one else close to the individual who is willing or able to act.

All of this expense, and the scope for family disputes, can be easily avoided by putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (or LPA). Often thought of as a product for the elderly, everyone should have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, irrespective of age or state of health, appointing someone of their choice to manage their affairs for the simple reason that anyone could have an accident, or develop a serious illness, at any time.

Whilst creating an LPA can take a couple of months, due to the need for it to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, the costs of doing so are far less than the cost of making an application for a Deputy Order, and the person concerned can also choose who acts on their behalf should they lose capacity in the future (rather than the Court making that decision).

A person must be able to fully understand the implications of an LPA before it can be put in place, but unfortunately they are often not considered until it is too late to do so. For this reason, we highly recommend that all adults should have a LPA and treat it the same as if it is an insurance product – should a disaster happen, it is there to cover you.    

The Court recently invited applications for the new panel of professional Deputies and the process involved an intense 8 week application and interview process. We are delighted to announce that Michael Culver, an Associate in our Wealth and Estate Planning team, has been appointed to the Official Panel of Professional Deputies for the Court of Protection. The appointment means that the Court of Protection may now call upon Michael to act as an Independent Deputy for an incapacitated person where there is no one else suitable to take on that role.

Michael says “I am delighted to have been accepted on the panel and to be able to assist those clients who need ongoing support at a very difficult time in their lives.”

Should you wish to discuss putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney, or need assistance with an application to the Court of Protection, please contact a member of the Wealth and Estate Planning team.

5 June 2015 by

Landlord Alert

From 1 April 2018, landlords of commercial premises will be required by law to upgrade the energy efficiency of their […]

12 June 2015 by

Can you afford Justice?

On 9 March 2015 the government increased court fees in England and Wales dramatically. Previously the maximum fee a litigant […]

Signup To Our Weekly e-News

"*" indicates required fields

We’ll never share your details with any third party in line with our privacy policy.