Solicitors experienced in the sensitive area of Court of Protection applications and law.
The role of the Court of Protection is to protect the legal rights and needs of vulnerable individuals who are mentally incapable to make those decisions themselves. Typically areas where the Court of Protection will intervene include :-
The primary day to day mechanism for protecting mentally incapacitated people is through a deputy appointed and monitored by the Court of Protection. The deputy or deputies then legally act on behalf of the incapable individual.
One of the primary roles of the Court of Protection is often to come to a judgment on whether a person has the ability to make their own decisions. Other common applications to the Court of protection include :-
removing Attorneys or Deputies who have acted improperly or failed to adequately carry out their duties.
If there is no valid Lasting Power of Attorney, an application will need to be made in the Court of Protection seeking an order appointing a Deputy. The requirements to be satisfied in order to be appointed as a deputy include that the applicant must be over 18 years old and there will need to be an assessment of suitability for role – family members or friends may be suitable but in some cases a professional such as an accountant or solicitor is needed.
An application to the Court of protection is quite complex and generally will have best prospects of success if handled by an experienced solicitor. Similarly, if you are concerned about an application made to the Court of Application by a family member and feel this is inappropriate or misconceived and/or that the applicant is not suitable or trustworthy, we can advise on what to do. If you need a lawyer for a court of protection application please get in contact with us.
Forms include medical evidence about the person who may be unable to manage their own finances or welfare.
There is also a COP3 form relating to the person’s medical condition and this needs to be completed by appropriate medical practitioners such as GP, psychiatrist or occupational therapist.
In terms of timing, it will generally take between 2 to 3 months for the court to reach a decision and appoint the Deputy.
The Deputy must also agree to a security bond which covers any costs incurred in acting as Deputy. The amount and terms of the bond are decided by the court and must be paid annually. The bond plus other costs of applying to the Court will generally be recouped from the assets of the person without capacity.
A deputy will generally be dealing with financial affairs including bank accounts, drawing pensions and paying bills and also health and welfare issues. The main and overriding legal duty is to in the incapacitated person’s best interests.
A deputy must submit an annual report to the court detailing all the decisions they have made together with summary accounts for court approval.
Our private client lawyer team are experienced in all aspects of mental incapacity law, applications to the Court of Protection, legal advice where there is an Power of Attorney in place or for deputies. We also advise where there is a dispute or concern relating to the way an Attorney or deputy is dealing with the legal and welfare needs of a vulnerable person.
Our Court of Protection solicitors can also assist if you need legal advice before making an application to the Court of protection or about completion of the forms or supporting medical or other evidence. Please get in contact to find out how we can help.