There are many reasons why a person may no longer be able to manage their affairs. In cases like this, it is often necessary to appoint a deputy to be responsible for the vulnerable person's decisions about issues like healthcare, property and finance.
The Court of Protection is a specialist court for all issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make specific decisions. Such decisions might relate to a person’s finance and property, or to their health and welfare.
If a person loses the capacity to manage their own financial affairs, no one except an Attorney acting under the provisions of an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or a Deputy appointed by the Court of Protection, has the automatic right to take on that responsibility.
If you or someone close to you is losing Mental Capacity
Contact our specialist Court of Protection lawyers right away. We will take time to learn about your situation and guide you through the steps of creating an LPA if there is not one already in place.
If someone you know has already lost Mental Capacity
If someone close to you is no longer capable of managing their own financial affairs and they don't have a valid Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney (Property and Affairs) in place, it may be necessary for the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy to manage their affairs.
If you do have an LPA or EPA in place, we recommend you verify that it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian at the earliest opportunity.
Next steps required will depend on your circumstances – please contact our team for Free First Advice to discuss your situation in more detail.
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What is the Court of Protection?
The Court of Protection is a specialist court for all issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make specific decisions. The Court can make decisions and appoint Deputies to act on behalf of an individual. The Deputy might be a friend or relative or if there isn’t anyone suitable, a professional Deputy will be appointed. Professional Deputies are approved by the Court of Protection and are usually solicitors who specialise in this area.
The Deputy can make decisions about somebody’s healthcare and personal welfare or their property and financial affairs.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 gave the Court of Protection power to:
- Appoint a Deputy to make on-going decisions on behalf of a person who lacks capacity, in relation to either the person’s property and financial affairs or health and welfare; and
- Make decisions about property and financial affairs or health and welfare of people who lack the capacity to make such decisions themselves; and
- Make decisions relating to serious medical treatment, which relate to providing, withdrawing, or withholding treatment to a person who lacks capacity to make such decisions themselves; and
- Make decisions about a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney, including whether the power is valid, objections to registration, the extent of Attorney powers and removal of Attorney powers if, for example, the Attorney has not been acting appropriately; and
- Make declarations about a person’s capacity to make a decision, if the matter of whether they can make a decision cannot be resolved informally, for example if there is a difference of opinion between medical practitioners.