Partner & Deputy Head of Legal Services
If someone does not have sufficient mental capacity to make a Lasting Power of Attorney it is necessary to make an application to the Court of Protection to appoint a “Deputy”.
A Deputy will have power to manage the financial affairs of the person who lacks capacity, although this can be limited by the Court and there are strict rules on how the Deputy can act and the types of decisions that they can make.
Deputyship applications can take more than three months to complete. A decision or payment (perhaps for outstanding care home fees or other debts) may need to be made sooner than this. You can make an application for an “Interim Order”. This would give permission for certain acts to be done whilst the Court of Protection is considering the main application to appoint a Deputy. We can assist with these applications and let you know when such a request is appropriate.
We can also act as a Deputy if there is no one willing or able to act.
Annual Reporting to the Office of the Public Guardian
A Deputy will have to keep accounts and receipts as they need to submit yearly reports to the Office of the Public Guardian, the body who supervise the steps carried out by Deputies. We can assist with the preparation of these reports.
Health and Welfare
It is possible to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed Deputy to make decisions regarding health and welfare. Very few of these applications are approved by the Court of Protection. We will be able to give you advice on the Court’s views on any application.
If someone does not have mental capacity to prepare a Will, it is possible to make an application to the Court of Protection to get a Will put in place. This is known as a Statutory Will.
This is very useful if someone does not have a Will and you need to put one in place if the intestacy rules would not give an appropriate outcome. It may be that there is a Will but it is not effective – for example, it contained a gift of a property to a family member but the property has been sold to pay for care home fees, or a beneficiary has died and a new beneficiary needs to be included.
These applications are very specialised as not all solicitors deal with these applications or know when a Statutory Will application is appropriate. Our team of specialist solicitors have lots of experience in making these applications so can guide you through the process and make sure that any proposals made are reasonable and likely to be accepted by the Court.
Appointment of a Second Trustee
If a property owner lacks capacity and is unable to sell a property, often it is necessary to make an application to appoint a second trustee to enable a sale to proceed. This can be the case where a property is jointly owned and the second owner is also the sole Deputy or Attorney.
We can guide you through the application process and assist with gathering all of the information and documentation required.
Expert Witness Service
David Hall, the head of the private client department, acts as an expert witness giving statements on the potential costs of having a Deputy in personal injury or clinical negligence matters where a professional Deputy is required to manage large damages awards. This is often in medical negligence cases where a child suffered brain damage at birth. Please contact us if you require further information on this.
We Can Help
At MW our mission is to make quality legal services accessible to everyone and our team of specialised solicitors is waiting to help you. If you are worried that you might need to make an application for a Deputyship to the Court of Protection call us today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback.