A deputy is someone appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions for someone who cannot make decisions for themselves because they lack capacity. This can be for a number of reasons such as an accident or an illness such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
The Court of Protection was set up to help people who could not make decisions for themselves. The court makes one off decisions for people who lack capacity or appoints people to act as deputies.
The process of being appointed as a deputy is quite a long and complicated and can take up to 12 weeks to complete. Once you have been through the process, there are a number of things you will have to do to prove to the Court of Protection that you are making decisions in the best interests of the person you are acting for.
There are 2 different types of Deputy. The first is Property and Financial Affairs and the second is Personal Welfare. The first will allow you to legally access the bank accounts, benefits and property of your loved one who lacks capacity. It means you can speak to the bank and even sell their property if you need to.
The second Deputy for Personal Welfare will allo
w you to make legal decisions about the care your loved one will receive whilst they cannot make the decisions for themselves.To become someone’s Deputy, you have to be over 18 years old and usually a close friend or relative. To act as Deputy for property and financial affairs, you must have the skills and ability to make the right financial decisions for the person you are acting for.
Applying to become a Deputy through the Court of Protection only happens once your loved one loses capacity. You can put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place for both Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare whilst they still have capacity. This can be a cheaper and quicker way to protect your loved one as their illness progresses.
If you would like more information about applying to act as a deputy for a loved one or you would like to find out more about protecting yourself with a Lasting Power of Attorney, please contact our experienced team of solicitors now.
You can call us on 0208 520 4555 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.