How to Become a Court of Protection Deputy

What is a deputy?

A deputy is someone appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of another person. In the UK, there are two main types of deputyship:

  • Property and financial affairs
    This is the most common type of deputyship. It allows you as a deputy to make decisions about another person’s savings and investments, as well as giving you the authority to pay bills and apply for benefits on their behalf.
  • Personal welfare
    A personal welfare deputyship will allow you to make decisions about another person’s care and medical treatments. This might be required if someone close to you has suffered a severe brain injury or if they’ve developed a degenerative condition like Alzheimer’s.

Depending on your individual circumstances, you’ll receive a court order covering the specific areas you’re able to manage.

How can I apply for deputyship?

Before starting the deputyship application process, make sure to consider whether this is the right option for you and the person you’re applying for.

If you need to make a single decision on another person’s behalf, it may be possible to apply to the Court of Protection for a one-off order instead. But this will only apply if there is a major disagreement that cannot be resolved in any other way.

If you do decide to apply for a deputyship, there will be three main steps involved. These include:

  • Notifying people connected to the application
    You’ll first need to tell the person you’re applying to be a deputy for, before notifying at least three people who are connected to them. This could include relatives, social workers or doctors.
  • Filling in the relevant forms
    The forms you’ll be required to fill in will depend on the type of deputyship you’re applying for. The best way to find out which forms you’ll need to complete is by going to the GOV.UK website.
  • Sending off the forms for approval
    When you’ve completed all the relevant forms, you’ll have the option of submitting them by post or online. You’ll also need to pay a £371 application fee, which should be sent as a cheque payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’.*

The Court of Protection will then review your application and let you know if it has been approved or rejected. You may also be asked for further information or documentation, such as a report from social services or medical records.

*You may be able to apply for help with paying this fee, depending on your circumstances.

How long does it take to get a deputyship order?

It will usually take around six months from the start of the application process for a deputyship order to be issued. But if your circumstances are more complicated, things could take longer.

For example, if someone objects to your application, the Court of Protection might decide to call a hearing in order to gather more information. This can add weeks or even months on to the total time it takes for an order to be approved.

If you’re still waiting for your application to be approved but need to make a one-off decision urgently, you may be able to apply for an urgent interim order. This might apply if you need to withdraw funds from another person’s bank account to cover outstanding bills or care home fees.

What happens after I’m appointed as a deputy?

After you’ve been appointed, you’ll be given a court order that outlines what you’re able to do for the person you’re looking after.

Welfare deputies can make decisions immediately after being appointed, and financial deputies can make decisions after paying a security bond. This is a type of insurance that protects the finances of the person you’re acting on behalf of.

You’ll then need to send official copies of your deputyship order to the relevant organisations. This could include banks and building societies, or doctors and hospitals (if you’ve applied for a welfare deputyship).

As a deputy, you must also keep a record of anything you do on behalf of the other person. You should include your reasoning behind each decision, as well as making a note of anyone else who may have given input.

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) oversees the actions of deputies and will assign a certain level of supervision to each case. This means you’ll be asked to turn in an annual deputy report for the OPG to review.

Do I need a solicitor to become a deputy?

An experienced Court of Protection solicitor can help you navigate the process of becoming a deputy. They’ll reduce the chance of any unnecessary delays by ensuring forms are filled out correctly and that all the people who need to be given notice are told in plenty of time.

If you’re asked to attend a hearing after applying for a deputyship, your solicitor will provide you with legal representation and support. They can also assist you in appealing if your initial application is rejected.

You could even appoint a solicitor to act as a professional deputy for your loved one. This could be especially helpful if the person you’re applying for was involved in an accident, as your solicitor will be able to claim compensation on their behalf.

To learn more about how we could help you, get in touch with our friendly team today. You can contact us on the number at the top of the screen, request a callback or fill in our quick online form.

Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances.

Get in touch today to discuss your requirements 08005677866

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