If someone close to you is unable to manage their own affairs because they have become mentally incapable, for example as a result of an illness such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, or possibly because they have suffered an accident, then the Court of Protection can be asked to intervene by appointing a Deputy to look after this person’s affairs.
A Deputy is normally appointed if someone has not put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney. The Deputy will usually be a family member or close friend, and can be a professional such as a solicitor.
The Court of Protection will need to be satisfied that the Deputy is the appropriate person to be entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the individual’s affairs. An Order can be made which relates both to financial affairs and property – for example if a house needs to be sold, and also personal welfare, such as arrangements for nursing care.
The Order can limit the types of decisions that a Deputy would be allowed to make. The expectation placed on the Deputy is that they should always act to the highest standards of care and in the best interests of the individual concerned.
In the first instance it will be often necessary to obtain a medical report from a GP. This can address the issue as to whether a person has become mentally incapable to the extent that they will not be expected to regain capacity to make decisions on their own behalf.
If there is a possiblity that mental capacity may return, then you will need to take advice as to whether a Lasting Power of Attorney would be more appropriate.
We have a great deal of experience in assisting people to deal with the Court of Protection. Whether you simply need help with the application, or you need more involved advice managing a person's affairs, we can help.