What is the Court of Protection?
The Court of Protection deals with the property, financial affairs and personal welfare of people who lack mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. A person may have difficulty in managing their affairs for a number of reasons such as dementia or mental health issues.
What orders can the Court make?
The most common orders made are Property and Affairs Deputyship orders which appoint an individual to act as Deputy on behalf of a person who lacks mental capacity, for a variety of financial matters. Under this order, the Court has the power to authorise the Deputy to buy or sell property and deal with their day to day financial needs.
The Court of Protection also deals with Personal Welfare Deputyship orders. This might include making a decision on where a person should live such as whether they should continue living at home or whether they should move into a care home.
What are my duties as Deputy?
As Deputy, you have a duty to act in the best interests of the person who lacks mental capacity during the period they are unable to make decisions themselves. This might be a temporary arrangement or relatively permanent, with the issue of capacity being kept under constant review. You will also be required to complete an annual report by the Office of the Public Guardian, the body that supervises deputies appointed by the Court of Protection, disclosing details of the decisions you have made.
How can I make an application?
The first step in any application is to obtain medical evidence to show that the proposed individual lacks mental capacity and the application is in the best interests of the person who is thought to lack mental capacity. Family members must then be notified of a particular application to be considered by the Court and will be have the opportunity to put forward their views. The Court’s main duty will be to reach an outcome that is in the best interests of the vulnerable person.