Court of Protection
The Court of Protection deals with decision making for adults who lack mental capacity to make decisions themselves. The Court deals with applications in relation to any issues that affect that person.
This includes decisions relating to financial welfare, the appointment of a Deputy where no Lasting Power of Attorney exists, and applications for a Will to be prepared on a person’s behalf – known as a “Statutory Will”. It also deals with issues relating to adults healthcare and welfare.
In the event that a person loses mental capacity they are unable to give instructions to a solicitor for a Lasting Power of Attorney. The only alternative at this stage is for a suitable family member or friend to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed that person’s Deputy.
What is a Deputy?
Once appointed, the Deputy is legally responsible for acting and making decisions on behalf of the person who lacks capacity to make those decisions for themselves.
There are restrictions on what a Deputy can do and they must always act within the powers set out in the Court order that appoints them. For example a Deputy cannot make a Will on behalf of the person lacking capacity. In order to put a Will in place a separate application needs to be made to the Court of Protection by the Deputy or another interested person. There is no guarantee that the Court will order a Will to be prepared in accordance with that set out in the application. The Court will consider all of the evidence provided before ordering a Will to be made out as it sees fair and reasonable in all of the circumstances. This is known as a Statutory Will.
What is a Deputy?
The Court also hears applications relating to the personal welfare of the person lacking capacity. For example such an application could be in relation to the provision or withdrawal of certain healthcare treatment or choice of nursing home.