What is the Court of Protection

The Court of Protection is a superior court of record that protects the financial needs and personal wellbeing of people who are unable to care for themselves. 

What does the Court of Protection do? 

The Court holds the power to make decisions regarding financial assets, property, healthcare and accommodation, on behalf of people who don’t have mental capacity nor a lasting power of attorney. These decisions must have the best interests of the individual in mind and can include.

  • Removing attorneys from a lasting power of attorney.
  • Managing healthcare if the individual doesn’t have an attorney.
  • Managing finances if the individual doesn’t have an attorney.
  • Judging whether the individual has the mental capacity to make their own decisions.

Why is the Court of Protection so important?

It is possible to apply to the Court to gain permission to act on behalf of a friend or loved one that has lost mental capacity if they don’t have a lasting power of attorney in place already. If successful, the Court will grant you ‘deputyship’ over the person in question with the power to make long-term decisions about their healthcare provided that you keep up with the annual supervision fee.

Similarly, if you disagree with a decision made by the Court and wish to overturn decisions that affect your loved ones, you can appeal via the Court of Appeal.

Who can apply to the Court of Protection? 

You can make an application if you are: 

  • A legal guardian for someone over the age of 18.
  • An attorney or deputy responsible for managing someone else’s affairs. 
  • A Family member, part of a healthcare trust or local authority involved in caring for someone without mental capacity.  

What is a Deputy? 

A deputy is someone that has been appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the affairs of an individual that cannot care for themselves. 

There are 2 different types, both with unique responsibilities. 

  • A Property and Financial Affairs Deputy is responsible for managing your financial affairs. 
  • Personal Welfare Deputies are given the power to make decisions about your healthcare and personal wellbeing. 

How much does it cost to become a Deputy?

When applying to become a deputy, you must pay £371 per deputyship type. If the Court decides that a hearing must be held for your application, then an additional £494 fee is required. 

Once you become a deputy, you will also need to pay £100 for an assessment fee if you are new to the role, as well as an annual supervision fee (£320 for general supervision, £35 for minimal supervision) due on the 31st of March each year. 

These fees can be varied depending on circumstances, you can view the guidance on the following link: Applying for a reduced fee for your OPG deputy fees – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

How do I become a Deputy?

To apply for deputyship, you will have to fill out a minimum of 4 forms and include a certificate from a medical professional that confirms your loved one has lost their mental capacity and cannot care for themselves.

Depending on how many roles you want to fill as a deputy, an extra form may need to be completed if you want to assume responsibility for healthcare and financial affairs.

You can find the form for the personal welfare deputy here: Deputies: make decisions for someone who lacks capacity: Apply to be a personal welfare deputy – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

And the form for property and financial affairs deputy here: Deputies: make decisions for someone who lacks capacity: Apply to be a property and financial affairs deputy – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

How long does it take to apply for Deputyship? 

The process of applying for a deputyship order from the Court of Protection will take roughly 4-6 months from start to finish.

Henry Brown