When you successfully apply to become a Deputy for a person who is mentally unable to make decisions in their best interests (P), you will be given a Court order from the Court of Protection. In its most basic form, the Court order underlines the key duties and responsibilities you have as the Deputy and gives you the responsibility to carry out those duties acting in your loved one’s best interest.
Types of Order
There are two types of Deputy, a Property and Affairs Deputy, and a Health and Welfare Deputy. A Property and Affairs Deputy may handle P’s financial affairs. The primary function of this is so that bills, rent, and/or care fees are paid. A Health and Welfare Deputy will make decisions daily, which involve hygiene and nutrition. The latter is much rarer, as the Mental Capacity Act 2005 encourages carers to involve the vulnerable person as much as possible in this type of decision.
When enforced, each of these produce a different order. Both orders will however, contain similar information and it will relate to your role and your responsibilities. It will also inform you of any restrictions that you may have placed upon you and your loved one.
We have a wealth of experience in both types of order. We can assure you that, to us, you are not just another client, or a number on a spreadsheet, we will treat you and your family with the respect and the dignity that you deserve.
Sale of a Property
In some circumstances, it may be important for a property owned by the P to be sold. In general, Deputy of Property and Affairs will be given permission to manage P’s property affairs. This includes, being able to sell property on behalf of P without having to ask for permission from the Court. If there is a conflict of interest on the property, for example it is opposed by a beneficiary under P’s Will, then the sale cannot go ahead without permission from the Court.
The Court can put several different restrictions on a deputyship order if it is required. For example, the Court can make a restriction limiting the amount of time the vulnerable person spends with a certain named person. The Court has the power to implement any restrictions that they see fit so long as they are in P’s best interests.
A decision made in the Court of Protection can be changed on appeal. You may want to appeal if you feel an unfair restriction has been imposed upon you. You may also want to appeal if, as an interested party, notice was not given to you of the Court of Protection order and you now wish to appeal the decision. Or simply you do not feel that the best interests of the vulnerable person are being wholly considered.
For an appeal to be considered, the first instance judge must grant permission. If a hearing occurs, this permission can be granted then. If there is no hearing, then permission can be granted in writing. If you wish to appeal a Court of Protection decision, you will not be alone. Seatons will guide you through the process and will work hard and go the extra mile for you. We understand that this can be a difficult time for your family and we work hard to ensure that the process does not alienate you.
The Office of the Public Guardian
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is the body that governs deputies appointed in the Court of Protection. Once you have been granted the Order from the Court of Protection it is important that you report to the OPG every year with information that it is stipulated you provide in the order. The OPG are also a safety net. Once you are a Deputy they will provide advice and guidance for you on how best to handle affairs.
When you receive the Order
When you receive your order of deputyship, and you are happy with it and there are no appeals you will receive 8 copies of the Order and it is important that you distribute these among the interested parties and keep one safely for your records.
Ending an Order
An appointment of deputyship ends when the vulnerable person dies. It then falls to the Will to arrange how the estate is distributed. You should however notify the OPG as soon as is reasonably possible. At Seatons we are experts in Wills, probates and estates and will be able to handle affairs and will help to ensure that your loved one’s wishes are carried out professionally.
If the vulnerable person regains capacity and is then able to make decision, the order will remain in place until it expires or a subsequent order is issued by the Court. A restriction may be applied by the Court which means that the Order will only last for a pre-agreed amount of time, once this expired the order becomes invalid.
If you wish to retire as a Deputy because you no longer wish to, or feel you cannot carry out your responsibilities as Deputy then you must apply to be discharged from the Court. It is then essential that another Deputy apply if this is needed.
Finally, If the Court or the OPG feel that you have not been carrying out your duties correctly or have not acted in P’s best interests then you will be discharged from your order by the Court.
We understand that this can be a very difficult decision to take and you will want to ensure that the best efforts are undertaken to ensure that there are no loose ends. We will work hard for you and will listen to your instructions carefully to get you the best possible outcome.
How to get started
At Seatons we have years of experience in applying for Court of Protection Orders. We regularly achieve success and we continually strive for perfection. We are known as the friendly professionals. We eliminate the legal jargon and ensure that you are not alienated by the process and if you ever have any questions or concerns we are just a phone call away. For more information feel free to browse our other pages on the Court of Protection or, for a free, no obligation chat with one of our friendly advisors, please call 0800 3 10 11 12.
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Hello, my name is Adrian Chambers and I deal with Court of Protection matters in our Corby office. If you need to make an application to the Court of protection on behalf of a loved one then I can help.
I can provide you with a fast, friendly and cost effective legal service.
All you need do is simply pick up the phone and give us a call on 01536 276300 or use our online enquiry form for a no obligation chat and we can take things from there.