A Basic Guide to The Court of Protection

Anjum Noreen is an Associate Solicitor and current Acting Head of our Court Of Protection team here at Bromleys. Here, Anjum provides us with a Basic Guide to The Court Of Protection.

What is The Court of Protection?

The Court of Protection was first established by the Mental Capacity Act in 2005 and is part of the Family Division of the High Court. It is a specialist court that can make decisions or appoint other people (generally known as deputies), to make decisions on behalf of those individuals who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. These decisions could be regarding the individual’s financial affairs, property or even their personal welfare.

There are various reasons as to why someone may lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions, some include:

  • a result of injury
  • a stroke
  • dementia
  • old age
  • learning disabilities
  • mental health conditions

In order to protect these vulnerable individuals, an application should be made to The Court of Protection for a Deputy to be appointed.

Speak to one of our solicitors today

What powers does the Court of Protection have?

The Court of Protection has powers to:

  • Decide if an individual is capable to make their own financial or personal welfare choices for themselves;
  • Appoints deputies to make ongoing decisions for the individual in their best interests;
  • Decide on applications for making statutory wills or gifts;
  • Make decisions about a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney;
  • Allow Deputies to make one-off decisions on behalf of the individual.

Who can be a Deputy?

If it is possible, the Court prefers to appoint someone who is close to the individual lacking mental capacity if it is in their best interests to do so. This could be a member of their family, their carer, or a friend. It may also favoured for a professional deputy to be appointed, such as a solicitor. The Court recommends applications are filed using their online portal and current applications are taking approximately 13 weeks for an Order to be made. Prior to application being filed, court forms need to be completed including assessment of capacity and notification on P and others.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a way for an individual to plan, in the possibility that they become incapable of making their own decisions. This will legally appoint someone to act on the person lacking mental capacity and make important decisions for them.

What is the difference between a Deputy and a Lasting Power of Attorney?

The difference between the two is that a Lasting Power of Attorney is chosen by an individual and is appointed before they lose the capacity to make their own decisions. On the other hand, a Deputy is appointed once someone has lost capacity and is chosen by the Court.

You can read more about our services for a Lasting Power of Attorney here.

How can we help?

At Bromleys we provide straightforward advice in line with your circumstances and can assist you in the appointment of a Deputy. Alternatively, we have a great deal of experience regarding matters involving mental capacity and therefore, we can also act as Professional Deputy. It is important to ensure that all decisions made are in the best interests of the individual lacking mental capacity. If you need help with such matters or need some advice, you can get in touch with our legal team today by making an enquiry or by contacting Anjum directly.

You can call us on 0161 330 6821 or make an enquiry directly with our Court Of Protection Team:

Anjum Noreen 0161 694 4154 or email anoreen@bromleys.co.uk