Wills and Probate

All you need to know about the Court of Protection

There are times in our lives when matters are taken out of our control.

A loved one may lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs. This can be due to many reasons, old age, mental illness, a severe learning disability, stroke, accident, or injury.

If your loved one at that time has not made
a Lasting Power of Attorney then, no one will legally be able to manage day-to-day running of their affairs on their behalf.

This includes making decisions on a person’s property and financial affairs and at times, decisions regarding their health and welfare.

How can I act on behalf of that person?

To be appointed to act on behalf of that person who now lacks mental capacity, you would need to make
an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as their deputy.

A deputy can be a family member, friend or professional and they have a duty to act in the person’s best
interests by managing and protecting the assets of that person.

What can a deputy do?

The deputy can make decisions regarding the sale, letting or management of a person’s property.

They can access the person’s money in their bank/savings account to pay their household bills and/or care fees, if required.

They can also access their money to ensure the person has sufficient personal spending monies and purchase any items they require, such as clothing.

The application process

The application process is quite lengthy (over several months) and there will be lots of information
required for the initial application forms.

An assessment of capacity is required by a professional in order
to confirm to the court whether the person does lack mental capacity to manage their own affairs.

We, as a firm, can apply to be appointed as a professional deputy on behalf of the person who lacks
capacity.

We would then take on the day-to-day management of their property and financial affairs. This allows you to concentrate on providing them with the loving care and attention, without the stress and time consumed in the application and ongoing management.

There are a couple of further areas to mention regarding the Court of Protection:-

Statutory wills

A deputy cannot make a will for the person who lacks capacity, however they
may identify that the person does not have one in place or that what they do have requires
updating (for example, a beneficiary’s circumstances have changed.

For inheritance tax planning, you can make an application to the Court of Protection for a statutory will.

Jointly held property

If a jointly held property is required to be sold or transferred then a separate court application will need to be made in order to appoint a trustee of the jointly held property to facilitate any sale or transfer.

This is the case, even when the person has a deputy already appointed on their behalf.

Here to help

As these circumstances can happen unexpectedly and this time will be extremely stressful and upsetting, please feel free to get in touch with one of our team who can guide you through the process.

We are a friendly, approachable, sympathetic team with a wealth of knowledge in this area and are ready to answer your questions and queries and assist with any applications that
need to be made.

Please call to speak with the Wills, Trusts and Probate Team on 01772 799 600

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