The Court of Protection and its administrative arm, the Office of the Public Guardian, deal with applications relating to anyone who does not have the mental capacity to manage their affairs for themselves. They aim to protect vulnerable people by making sure that their affairs are properly looked after and that no-one takes advantage of the situation they are in.
To obtain a court order to manage the affairs of the person who does not have the mental capacity to do themselves, an application must be made to the Court of Protection. The application will ask the court to appoint the applicant as ‘deputy’ with the power to make financial and, in some cases, welfare decisions, for someone who does not have capacity to do so for themselves.
A deputies actions are monitored by the Office of the Public Guardian and the deputy must complete and file a return every year detailing how they have managed the affairs of the person lacking capacity, and what decisions have been taken on that person’s behalf.
Whilst a deputy is very similar to an attorney, the fundamental difference is that a deputy is appointed by the court whereas an attorney is appointed by a person with capacity at the time the attorney is appointed e.g. a court appointed deputy will be required where the person lacking the ability to make decisions themselves, has not made a Power of Attorney.
The Court of Protection can also assess the validity of a LPA, make declarations, decisions and orders affecting those people who lack the capacity to make such decisions themselves and deal with Trustee applications (needed where a property is jointly owned by a person who lacks capacity) and Statutory Wills.
If you know or care for someone who no longer has the mental capacity to make decisions themselves, we would be happy to guide you through the complex and often complicated process of applying to the Court of Protection so you (and/or someone else) can make decisions for them.