What is the Court of Protection?
The Court of Protection is the Court responsible for people who lack the capacity to make specific decisions for themselves.
Amongst other things, the Court can make decisions about people’s property and finances and their health and welfare. It can create a Will for someone who can’t do it themselves and it can rule on disputes between for example, Doctors and the family of patients.
Most applications to the Court of Protection are not contentious and are generally made without the need for you to go to court.
However, be aware that if contentious, the application will be held in public, although reporting restrictions would be in place.
Why would I need a Court of Protection lawyer?
Applications to the Court of Protection can be a complex area of law and it is important before considering taking on the role of a Deputy for you to understand the implications, responsibilities and duties which the Court will require you to undertake when acting for a person that is unable to make decisions for themselves.
It is important to seek legal advice before making an application so you can go into it with your eyes open.
When would you apply to the Court of Protection?
As the law stands, without some form of legal authority like a Lasting Power of Attorney, nobody has the right to manage another person’s affairs. You may be facing a situation where a spouse or a parent is unable to make decisions for themselves, either generally or about a specific matter. Most situations tend to be around decision making as to someone’s financial affairs.
If the person losing capacity had already created a Power of Attorney document such as an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) or Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and if this document is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), the attorneys will have the legal right to manage their affairs, without having to go to the Court of Protection. The Court of Protection also has jurisdiction to consider disputes over the exercise of those Powers of Attorney.
If there was no valid LPA or EPA in place before capacity was lost, then it may well be that your only option is a Court of Protection application in order to be granted the authority for you to be able to act on their behalf.
The Court of Protection will consider the application on the best interests of the person who has lost capacity. It will either grant a Deputyship order appointing you as the Deputy or it will give “directions” or issue “orders” to permit you to undertake specific actions or make specific decisions.
I have compiled a selection of frequently asked questions. If you have any questions that I haven’t covered, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.
People often say that getting started is the hardest part of all. Because you are reading this, you should feel encouraged that you have already begun the process, and my job is to help you from here. Simply pick up the phone and call me or drop me a short email.