The Court of Protection (COP) is a Court which looks after the interests of people who lack mental capacity.

What matters do the Court of Protection deal with?

The most common function of the COP is to appoint someone (known as a Deputy) to manage a persons financial affairs or to make health and welfare decisions, for people who lack the capacity to do so themselves.  They also deal with disputed matters involving Attorneys and Deputies such as:

Allegations of Attorneys/Deputies not acting in the best interests of the person who lacks capacity

Sometimes people will “gift” money to themselves as an Attorney or Deputy.  Often, this is done innocently or in ignorance of the rules. Sadly, sometimes an Attorney or Deputy will simply use the money for their own personal gain.  If you believe that this is the case, you should report this to the Office of the Public Guardian and they will investigate this as a potential abuse.

If you have concerns that an Attorney or Deputy is acting inappropriately or even stealing money, you can call or email us for a FREE CASE REVIEW including guidance on how best to proceed.

Objections to the registration of a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney

Often people will receive notice that a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is being registered and they wish to object to this. This most commonly occurs when the maker of a Lasting Power of Attorney lacked the capacity to make the LPA or EPA in the first place, has been pressured into doing so or because the Attorney is unsuitable to take up the role.

If you are trying to register a Lasting Power of Attorney or an Enduring Power of Attorney and an objection has been made we can assist you with complying with all of the Court requirements and guide you through the process.  If you want to raise an objection to the registration of an LPA or EPA we can advise you on your options for doing so. Call or email us today for a FREE CASE REVIEW.

Statutory Will applications

A Statutory Will is one made by the Court of Protection on behalf of someone who does not have capacity to make a Will for themselves. The COP needs to approve the Will before it can be executed to be sure that the contents of the Will are in the best interests of the person who lacks capacity.  Applications for approval of Statutory Wills are commonly made if someone does not have a Will already or if they had previously gifted a property in a Will which has subsequently been sold to pay for care home fees or if they have had no contact with any of the named beneficiaries for many years.

Where all parties are in agreement applications are made without the need for any Court hearings.  However, those materially affected by the new Will need to be given notice of the application giving them the opportunity to raise objections if necessary.  These cases can therefore become contentious even when this is not anticipated at the outset.

It is advisable to instruct Specialist Inheritance Lawyers, to guide you through the process and ensure that the complex aspects of such cases are complied with properly.

If you have received notice of an application for approval of a Statutory Will and are unsure whether or not to raise an objection, or if you have made an application where someone is now objecting then call or email us for a FREE CASE REVIEW and we can advise you on your options for raising or defending objections.

Funding

In Court of Protection cases, unless they relate to health and welfare matters, the costs are paid from the funds of the person who lacks capacity. However, the Court does have power to make costs orders so that if they feel that one party has been acting maliciously, they can make that party pay all of the costs involved.

If you are unsure of how your potential COP case could be funded then call or email us for a FREE CASE REVIEW today.

Our Successes

Public Guardian v Marvin [2014] EWCOP 47

In this case, our Specialist Inheritance Lawyers acted for the Respondent who was the appointed Attorney for his Father, dealing with both his property and financial affairs as well as his health and welfare.  Social Services reported our client to the Office of the Public Guardian as they alleged that he was not acting in his Father’s best interests in managing his financial affairs and making decisions regarding his health and welfare. The Office of the Public Guardian were trying to revoke the Powers of Attorney and appoint an independent Deputy.

We argued that whilst the Respondent had not technically had the power to act in the way that he did, this was not done maliciously and nor did the Respondent receive any personal gain from his actions. This argument was accepted by the Court and the judge allowed the Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney to continue.  He also accepted our request that the respondent be appointed a Deputy jointly with a partner of McMillan Williams Solicitors Limited.  The judge admitted that his decision was

“…unusual… and should not be regarded as setting a precedent for other cases”.

This case shows how, with the use of our Specialist Inheritance Lawyers, we work hard to achieve the best results for our clients, even those which the Court wouldn’t normally order.

If you believe you have an unusual case and would like some guidance on how best to approach it then call or email our Specialist Inheritance Lawyers today for your FREE CASE REVIEW.

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