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Personal Law

Court of Protection: What is it?

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Carrie Tennick, June 04, 2019

The UK’s Court of Protection exists to make decisions on financial or welfare matters for people who are unable to make those decisions when they need to be made on the basis that they lack mental capacity.

It is a supreme court that exists to help organise the affairs, finances and assets of those who don’t have the mental capacity to do so themselves.

Deputyship

When someone lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves, and there is no power of attorney, the Court of Protection can appoint a deputy to be legally responsible for that person.

Deputyship can be required when a person with mental disabilities reaches adulthood or in the event that an adult suffers from dementia or mental impairment as a result of a stroke, brain tumour or other disturbance.

A deputy is able to make certain decisions for someone who is unable to do so. Deputies can make decisions about property and financial affairs, about personal welfare and health and about both financial affairs and personal welfare.

Deputies are typically close relatives or friends of the person they make decisions for, but they can also be professionals like solicitors and accountants. This is more likely to happen when a situation requires expert input, such as a large money transfer.

Court of Protection responsibilities

The Court of Protection is responsible for a number of duties, including:

  • deciding whether someone has the mental capacity to make a particular decision for themselves
  • appointing deputies to make ongoing decisions for people who lack mental capacity
  • giving people permission to make one-off decisions on behalf of someone else who lacks mental capacity
  • handling urgent or emergency applications where a decision must be made on behalf of someone else without delay
  • making decisions about a lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney and considering any objections to their registration
  • considering applications to make statutory wills or gifts
  • making decisions about when someone can be deprived of their liberty under the Mental Capacity Act

You can find out if someone has a deputy acting for them by applying to search the Office of the Public Guardian registers.

Litigation support statements

Someone who has suffered a severe brain injury as a result of an accident or medical negligence may be entitled to compensation. However, if they lack the capacity to manage their own claim for compensation, a deputy may need to be appointed by the Court of Protection.

A deputy helping someone to pursue compensation for medical negligence, or for an accident or personal injury that wasn’t their fault, may need to provide a sworn litigation support statement to prove the case.

If you are acting as a deputy for someone who is seeking compensation, you can contact First4Lawyers for an initial chat about your specific circumstances. We could put you in touch with an expert solicitor who will be able to handle your case.

Just give us a call, request a call back at the top of your screen or start your enquiry here.