What is a Deputy?

Did you realise that if you do not have either an Enduring Power of Attorney(EPA)  or registered  Lasting Power of Attorney(LPA) in place appointing persons of your choice to deal with your Property and Financials affairs and/or Health and Welfare decisions, then the Court of Protection will appoint who they feel is best suited to make these decisions for you.

A Deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the affairs of another person (known as ‘the patient’), who lacks the mental capacity to manage their own affairs themselves.

No one has any legal authority to deal with another’s affairs in the event of that person losing capacity unless they are an Attorney under an EPA or LPA or they are a Court-appointed Deputy.

If a person becomes mentally incapable of making decisions for themselves and has assets that need to be administered or decisions are required to be taken about their personal welfare and they have not granted an EPA or LPA, the Court of Protection has to appoint a Deputy to manage their affairs.

A Deputy can only act under a Court Order made by the Court of Protection. The Court Order sets out the specific powers of the Deputy in relation to the person who lacks capacity. The application process can take between 4 – 6 months and costing anywhere between £1,500 – £3,000. In addition to this there is a requirement on the appointed Deputy to submit annual accounts to the Court of Protection together with an annual court fee.

A Deputyship Court order can be avoided if you made an EPA before October 2007 or an LPA registered thereafter with the Office of the Public Guardian. You can no longer make EPA but instead you can have a LPA to appoint attorneys to deal with your finances and make health and welfare decisions on your behalf. Health and Welfare decisions can only be made on your behalf if you are deemed to no longer have the mental capacity to make these decisions yourself.

If you have any queries about this article, please contact the Private Client Team at our South Street Office on 01243 790532.