In old age many people become unable to deal with their personal affairs as they used to, this may be due to mental degeneration or due to physical degeneration; either way someone will need to be appointed to act on their behalf. Often an individual will have chosen someone to act on their behalf in anticipation of their inability to act for themselves; they will have made a Lasting Power Of Attorney. This document allows an appointed individual to make decisions on their behalf when they are no longer able to do so. However, sometimes circumstances are unforeseen, progress more rapidly than expected or are ill prepared for. In situations where there is no Lasting Power Of Attorney, an individual must apply to be a Deputy to the Court of Protection.
A Deputy can be a relative or a close friend of the individual; it can also be professional such as a solicitor. All deputies must be over the age of 18. When an individual is acting as a Deputy the role will be strongly mediated by the Court of Protection. This is to ensure that every decision which is made is done so with the individual’s best interests in mind. Each decision which is made by the Deputy must have been a decision the Court of Protection approved them to make.
Decisions A Deputy Is Not Allowed To Make
– Any decision regarding the individual’s Will
– Transfer of equity into their name or the names of others
– Restrain the individual
– Turn off a life support machine or stop any other type of life-sustaining medical treatment
– Make decisions when the individual still has the capacity to make them on their own
– Go against someone acting under a Lasting Power Of Attorney
How Do I Become A Deputy?
To become a deputy there must not be anyone else acting as deputy on the person’s behalf. The individual must also be ruled to be incapable to make decisions on their own behalf under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. You must comply with the Act at all times. If there is no one acting on their behalf and they are unfit to make their own decisions, you or your solicitor must apply to the Court of Protection directly. You are not allowed to make any decisions on behalf of the individual until you receive a court order confirming your status as deputy and outlining the decisions you are legally able to make.
Ian Roskell can act as Deputy to the Court of Protection on the behalf of your loved one, or has the specialist knowledge you need to get you through the application process for yourself. Call us on 0800 142 2901 or fill in an online enquiry to discuss your situation with one of our specialist lawyers for free today. All initial enquiries are offered completely free of charge and with no obligation to continue.