See also Court of Protection.
A deputy is authorised by the CoP to make decisions on behalf of a person who lacks mental capacity. This means they cannot make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made. They may still, however, be able to make decisions for themselves at certain times. The difference between a deputy and a LPA is that the LPA is made before the donor loses capacity; the deputy is appointed after a person loses capacity and usually only if they have not appointed a LPA.
People may lack mental capacity because, for example:
There are two types of deputy:
A person can apply to be just one type of deputy, or both. If appointed, they will get a court order saying what they can and cannot do. They cannot delegate their duties to others. Also they cannot:
A deputy must be aged 18 or over. They are usually a close relative or friend of the person who needs help making decisions.
A property and affairs deputy needs to have the skills to make financial decisions for someone else.
The CoP can appoint two or more deputies for the same person.
Where there is more than one deputy the CoP will state how decisions must be made, either:
Some people are paid to act as deputies, for example accountants, solicitors or representatives of the local authority.
The CoP can appoint a specialist deputy (called a ‘panel deputy’) from a list of approved law firms and charities if no one else is available.
The deputy will be sent a ‘court order’ detailing what they can / cannot do.
They can start acting on behalf of the person:
A deputy receives supervision and support, and has to submit reports and accounts.
They may be prosecuted if they misuse the person’s money.
Deputies are supervised by the Supervisory Division of the CoP. There are different levels of supervision.
The supervision regime depends upon the:
Level of support:
Welfare and Investment specialists will recommend the type of supervision and what that should entail.
Fees can change from time to time, so practitioners should check the latest fees guidance at Deputies: make decisions for someone who lacks capacity.
In addition the deputy can claim reasonable expenses from the person’s estate and be paid if the Court so directs.
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