Hopefully plans have been made in advance to cover this eventuality by creating a Power of Attorney -
Subject to registration, the Attorney appointed will be able to continue to act.
If neither type of Power of Attorney has been created, it will be necessary to apply to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputy. A Deputy's role is to manage the affairs of someone who has lost capacity. There are two types of deputyship appointment, one to deal with property and financial matters and the other to deal with health and welfare issues.
Usually the application to be appointed as a Deputy is made by a member of the individual's family. Where necessary, it is possible for a professional, such as one of the Partners in Gales Solicitors, to act in this capacity. The ultimate decision as to the appointment rests with the Court of Protection. The Court will act in the individual's best interests, based on the extensive information which must be supplied to it.
Various application forms must be supplied to the Court to enable it to consider its decision. A medical assessment must be provided from the individual's medical practitioner, to confirm that the vulnerable person lacks sufficient mental capacity to manage their own affairs. A declaration must also be completed by the proposed Deputy to show that they are a suitable person to act. Detailed information must be supplied about the individual's circumstances and finances.
Once the application has been issued, notice must be given to the vulnerable person. The Court will expect notice to be served on other interested parties, such as members of the family, so that an opportunity is given to them to join the proceedings.
A Court fee is payable at the time of making the application, although limited exemptions and remissions are available.
Once the Order is made, the Court will require the Deputy to take out an insurance policy to cover any losses arising from the Deputy's fraud or negligence. The Order itself will set out the authority granted to the Deputy.
The ongoing supervision of the Deputy then moves to the Office of the Public Guardian; annual supervision fees will be payable and an annual return usually has to be completed by the Deputy.
If you would like to discuss Deputyship further or would like to receive an estimate of the costs involved, please contact our Probate Manager, Kathryn Cole, on 01202 512227 or use the form above.