If there is no Lasting Power of Attorney in place when a mental change occurs and a person ‘loses capacity’, an application would have to be made to the Court of Protection for someone to be appointed a ‘Deputy’ to manage your affairs. A Deputy can be a friend or relative of the person that lacks capacity, or alternatively can be a professional such as a Solicitor.
Much like a Lasting Power of Attorney, there are two types of Deputyship. Financial Affairs Deputies will manage financial assets such as bank accounts, investments, pensions and property. They can also deal with bills and payments. Personal Welfare Deputies are able to make decisions on Care, Health and Welfare matters.
The process for becoming a Deputy is quite lengthy and involves various stages. Several checks and safeguards must be satisfied and Security Bonds must be put in place to protect the assets in cases of mismanagement. Annual Reporting and regular supervision are also additional requirements which serve to help the Court of Protection monitor a Deputies action.
The best form of planning in order to avoid the need for a Deputyship is to create a Lasting Power of Attorney. However, if a loved one has lost capacity and has not made provision, please contact our Solicitors for expert legal advice. With our extensive experience, we will be able to take you through the process. In situations where health or distance limits a friend of family member acting as Deputy themselves, our Solicitors are able to act as Deputy where appropriate (see Management of Affairs).