Specialist solicitors in Court of Protection appointed deputyships
A deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions relating to the property and affairs or the health and welfare of someone who is deemed unable to do this themselves because of a lack of capacity.
Often a lack of capacity can be due to a brain injury at birth, as a result of an injury or because of a degenerative condition later in life, such as dementia.
Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, where someone lacks capacity a deputy can be appointed by the court to make decisions on their behalf.
At Hudgell Solicitors we have been managing the affairs of those that do not have the capacity to manage their own affairs through the Court of Protection for over 15 years.
Court of Protection deputyship application
Any person over the age of 18 can apply to be a Deputy.
In most cases a relative or close friend will be the most appropriate person to be appointed as a lay deputy as they already have a close involvement with the person and can actively act in their ‘best interests’.
The deputy may get assistance from solicitors, financial advisers and accountants and deal with the majority of the administration themselves. They will be accountable to the court for how they spend the money and will have to prepare annual accounts.
Where an estate is large and complex or there is no one available to help administer the funds it is usually the best solution to instruct a solicitor to act as a Professional Deputy.
A Professional Deputy will have the expertise to deal with more complex areas of the administration including tax, benefits and investment.
In Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence cases where large damages awards have been recovered the court has a preference for a Professional Deputy to be appointed.
Hudgell Solicitors’ head of Court of Protection services, Eve Carter, acts as a Professional Deputy, Attorney and Trustee. Her work is about solving problems and getting families back to as normal life as possible.
How to make a Deputyship enquiry
Explained in four easy steps
Free Initial Advice
Call us, request a callback or complete our online enquiry form and we will assess whether we can assist you.
We will discuss funding options with you; usually, this is private funding but this can often be paid for via a related personal injury or clinical negligence claim.
We will prepare application papers and supporting evidence before filing these on your behalf.
We will receive an Order from the Court of Protection providing the relevant authority.
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What is a Deputy?
Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, where someone lacks the capacity to make a decision in relation to their property and affairs or health and welfare, a deputy can be appointed by the court to make decisions on their behalf.
The Deputy is accountable to the court and must act in accordance with the 5 core principles of the Mental Capacity Act and ensure that all actions taken are in the ‘best interests’ of the protected person.
The Mental Capacity Act states that;
A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that he lacks capacity.
Aperson is not to be treated as unable to make the decision unless all practicable steps to help him do so have been taken without success.
A person is not be treated as unable to make a decision merely because he makes an unwise decision.
Before the act is done, or the decision made, regard must be had as to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive to the person’s rights and freedoms.
Who will be appointed to act?
Any person over 18 can apply to be a Deputy. A prospective deputy will need to make a declaration
of the appropriateness of their appointment and declare any criminal convictions or any history of
In most cases a relative or close friend will be the most appropriate person to be appointed as
deputy. They already have a close involvement with the person and can actively act in ‘best
interests’ without incurring unnecessary expense. The deputy may get assistance from solicitors,
financial advisers and accountants as needed and deal with the majority of the administration
themselves. They will still be accountable to the court for how they spend the money and will have
prepare annual accounts detailing expenditure.
Where the settlement is larger or there is no one available to help administer the fund it is usually
the best solution to instruct a solicitor to act as a Professional Deputy. A Professional Deputy will
act with guidance from family members to ensure that the fund is administered in the ‘best interests’
of the protected person whilst having the expertise to deal with more complex areas of the
administration including tax, benefits and investment.
It is recommended that a Professional Deputy be appointed where the estate is large and complex.
In Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence cases where large damages awards have been recovered
the court has indicated it would be requiring that a Professional Deputy be appointed. Such cases
have great complexity and make it difficult for a family member to act impartially when the
decisions are so closely linked to them. A Professional Deputy is able to act independently. The
lifetime costs of a Professional Deputy are recoverable within the larger claims.
How is a Deputy appointed by the court?
An application is made to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy. The matter is then referred
to a Court of Protection Judge who considers the case and makes a decision. If the judge considers
the appointment to be is in the best interests of the person who has lost capacity he will issue an
order granting authority to the deputy and set out the terms of the authority given.
What authority will the order give?
The order will give a general authority to manage the affairs of the protected person for a specified
duration. Most orders would be issued until further order meaning that they stand indefinitely unless
another court order is made in their place.
Any decisions falling outside the authority given in the court order will need a further application to
the court. The court order will usually allow for the expected day to day running of the matter but
any unexpected or large purchases will need court approval requiring a further application to the
court. Large gifts, purchases of property and statutory wills will all require further applications to
the court for approval and with each application requiring several months to process, planning
ahead is crucial.
What obligations are placed on the Deputy?
The Deputy undertakes to act in the best interests of the ‘protected person and each decision made
should reflect this position. Once the order is in place the deputy is responsible for all financial
Deputy Account – Once the court order has been received the deputy will need to set up specially
designated accounts to manage the award and keep it separate from their own accounts.
Security Bond – The court require the deputy to pay in an annual insurance sum as security to
protect the ‘protected person’ from financial loss. This figure is set in relation to the size of the sum
Inform organisations – The deputy will need to circulate a copy of the order to all financial
institutions that deal with the protected person. E.g. Banks, DWP, residential home, local authority.
Annual reporting – On the anniversary of the order, every year, the court require an account of the
annual spending to be submitted to the court in the form of a report. This report requires details of
all bank accounts and demands an illustration of where any funds have been spent. It is good
practice to keep receipts for any of the spending throughout the year to evidence expenditure in
case of further enquiry by the court
How closely is the Deputy supervised?
Once appointed all deputies are supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian. The OPG may
require contact with a caseworker, reviews of the annual report or visits from a court visitor. Annual
reports are audited by the Office of the Public Guardian.
The Office of the Public Guardian has a duty to investigate any complaints regarding how the
deputyship is being used.
How is a Deputy appointed terminated?
The order terminates when the person who has lost capacity dies or regains capacity. The Deputy
may apply to resign or retire from the role or they can be removed for wrongdoing.