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Deputies (appointed by the Court of Protection)

See also the Government information Deputies: make decisions for someone who lacks capacity. The information in this section is taken from this website.

1. Introduction

You can apply to become someone’s deputy if they ‘lack mental capacity’ (see What is Mental Capacity?).

As a deputy, you will be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf (see Section 4, Court of Protection).

If the person already has a lasting power of attorney they do not usually need a deputy. You should check to see if they have registered an attorney before you apply.

You do not need to be a deputy if you are only looking after someone’s benefits. You can apply to become an appointee instead (see Become an appointee for someone claiming benefits).

If you want to make a single important decision, you can apply to the Court of Protection for a One-off Order.

2. Types of Deputy

As with the lasting power of attorney (see Lasting Power of Attorney) there are two types of deputy:

  • a property and financial affairs deputy who pays bills or organises a pension for example;
  • a personal welfare deputy, for making decisions about medical treatment and how someone is looked after.

You can apply to be just one type of deputy or both. If you are appointed, you will get a court order saying what you can and cannot do.

3. How to Apply and What is Involved

Click on these links to read about:

The Court of Protection will check:

  • whether the person (who you are applying to be a deputy for) needs a deputy or some other kind of help;
  • that there are no objections to your appointment.

You will continue to be a deputy until your court order is changed, cancelled or expires.

4. The Court of Protection

The Court of Protection makes decisions on financial or welfare matters for people who lack mental capacity.

It is responsible for:

  • deciding whether someone has the mental capacity to make a particular decision for themselves;
  • appointing deputies to make ongoing decisions for people who lack mental capacity
  • giving people permission to make one-off decisions on behalf of someone else who lacks mental capacity;
  • handling urgent or emergency applications where a decision must be made on behalf of someone else without delay;
  • making decisions about a lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney and considering any objections to their registration;
  • considering applications to make statutory wills or gifts;
  • making decisions about when someone can be deprived of their liberty under the Mental Capacity Act.


The Court of Protection is also where disputes between deputies or attorneys can be resolved.

Contact the Court of Protection for further information or advice.

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