Deputyship is granted by the Court of Protection in which a 3rd party is appointed to manage the affairs on behalf of someone who no longer has the mental capacity. Once in place, deputies can manage an incapacitated person's affairs under the supervision of the court.
Whilst it's likely that the person has a will, they may not have made any preparations for if they ever became incapacitated. If the person is fairly young, it is highly unlikely that such provisions are in place. If somebody you know has lost the capacity to manage their own affairs and they have no lasting power of attorney in place, you'll need to apply to the Court of Protection for deputyship.
If you are in this position, IWC we can help, taking care of the deputyship application on your behalf.
As with LPAs, there are 2 types of deputyship, the first allows representatives to manage financial and property affairs, this could being paying bills, collecting benefits and managing bank accounts. Once appointed, a deputy must keep records of expenditure and will usually be required to complete annual returns.
The second is concerned with health and welfare decisions, including medical treatment, medication and residential care. The Deputy cannot refuse consent to resuscitation and life prolonging treatment.
It comes with the same duties and responsibilities as an attorney would have under a lasting power of attorney. The difference is; an LPA is made by the person themselves (whilst they are capable) and offers the donor control over who becomes attorney and decisions that will affect their finances or health. Deputies, on the other hand are appointed by the Court when someone has lost the capacity to manage their affairs.
It is not required if the person has an LPA, this document is instead registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and the attorney will be able to legally manage the affairs of the donor, in accordance with their wishes.
Making a Deputyship Application
Any person over the age of 18 can be a deputy, although they must first declare any criminal convictions or bankruptcy arrangements to the court, which could lead to the application being refused.
An application is made by completing and submitting various forms to the Court of Protection. The Court will require a Medical certification confirming that the person you are applying to act as deputy for is mentally incapable of managing their own affairs.
The following forms are required:
These can be downloaded from Her Majesty's Court Service.
The application costs £400. There may also be a hearing to decide the application which costs £500. People on a low income or receiving benefits, may be exempt.
You can expect to receive a response within 25 days of the Court receiving your application. Providing a hearing is not necessary, the decision will be made within 21 weeks from receiving your application. If a hearing is required, you'll be notified of the date within 15 weeks of them receiving the application.
An application is a difficult, lengthy process and you may wish to seek assistance, contact IWC free on 0800 612 6105 to find out more about the services we can provide.
It may be an unpleasant subject but the creation of an LPA can save relatives an awful lot of stress, time and money as they do not have to go through the deputyship process. Follow the link to find out more about lasting power of attorney.