The Court of Protection has the jurisdiction to make decisions on behalf of someone who no longer has the mental capacity to do so, for both financial affairs, and issues of personal welfare.
It is recommended that everyone should apply to have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in order to be prepared for every eventuality. However, we understand that sometimes unforeseen circumstances cannot be accounted for and it might be too late to make provisions for a LPA. Situations like these can be incredibly hard to deal with, but unfortunately, legal processes and decisions must be dealt with in order to give your loved one the best quality of life.
A LPA is set up when someone is of complete mental capacity, and grants a chosen person the right to make decisions on their behalf should they lose the ability to do so. However, when someone loses their mental capacity before a LPA can be arranged, the situation becomes a lot more difficult. In this instance you would have to apply to the Court of Protection to become a ‘Deputy’ for your loved one.
There are two types of Deputy as there are LPAs; a financial/property Deputy, and a welfare Deputy, and becoming someone’s Deputy means that you will be able to make decisions on their behalf in one or both of these areas. However, the application is different for each type of Deputy.
When a loved one has lost mental capacity, we know that you will only want the best for them, which is why it is suggested that you do apply to become a Deputy in the absence of a LPA. Otherwise, you run the risk of seeing a ‘panel deputy’ appointed by the Court of Protection from a list of approved charities and law firms, who may make decisions that you feel are not truly in line with what your loved one would have wanted.
At Sam Hawking & Co we would always stress the importance of setting up an LPA when possible, but we will always be happy to provide you with any information or guidance you might need if you find that you have to apply to the Court of Protection. We have years of experience in dealing with a number of sensitive cases and know that during uncomfortable times like these, it is a great benefit to have someone who can provide expert legal advice through every step and every process.