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- AuthorGeraint Aubrey
What is a Deputy?
A Deputy is a person appointed by the court to handle the affairs of another person who lacks the mental capacity to do this themselves. The power to handle someone’s affairs when they lose mental capacity does not fall automatically to the spouse or parent. As such, in these unfortunate circumstances a court order will be needed. A Deputy cannot act until they have the sealed court order appointing them to do so. This order will include the full details of the Deputy’s powers.
Types of Deputy
As with Lasting Powers of Attorney, there are two different types of power. The first relates to to Property and Financial Affairs. This will relate to the finances and day to day managing of property or financial matters. This can range from paying bills for the person who lacks mental capacity to selling and buying property for them. The second type of power is Personal Welfare. This relates to making decisions about how the person who lacks mental capacity is looked after. These decisions can range from medical care to the choice of residential or nursing home if required.
How do you become a Deputy?
An application must be made to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a Deputy. The Court have the power to make a ‘Deputy Appointment’ and issue the court order. The Deputy will normally be a family member or close relative. However, if there is no individual available to take on the role then a professional may be appointed. The Court will consider the application for Deputyship with full reference to the family of the individual concerned. All relevant parties will be notified by the Court of the application and given a chance to object in writing. Following this, if the Court are satisfied that the order is in the best interests of the person concerned, and order will be granted.
What responsibilities do Deputy’s have?
A Deputy must always act in the best interests of the person concerned. This must remain a constant priority throughout their appointment. They must also give consideration to the following:-
- What the person concerned did in the past (e.g give money to charity)
- Always try to help the person concerned understand any decisions
The Deputy must ensure that their money is kept separate from that of the person concerned. The Deputy must also keep records for all decisions and financial accounting as there is a requirement to provide accounts to the Court of Protection once a year.
If you are considering applying for a Deputyship order or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact our specialist team in our Cardiff office on 02920 291704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.