Both Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyship Orders, are legal documents created to provide people with legal authority to make decisions on behalf of someone who has lost mental capacity.
A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to nominate someone (known as an ‘attorney’) in advance when you have mental capacity. This attorney will help make decisions on your behalf, if you lose capacity and are therefore unable to make decisions yourself.
Regarding Property and Finance decisions, your attorney can also make decisions on your behalf even when you have mental capacity. However, they will need to obtain your consent and agreement to the decision.
Deputyship Orders, however, are made if you have lost mental capacity and do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place. The Court can issue a Deputyship Order, appointing someone (known as a ‘deputy’) to help make decisions on your behalf.
Appointing an attorney, yourself whilst you have capacity, means that you can nominate someone you trust to be your attorney. It also enables you to decide what powers they have, as your attorney. However, if a Deputyship Order is required, you will not have the power to nominate someone you trust, as the court will appoint a deputy whom they deem suitable to act.
It currently takes around 20 weeks for a Lasting Power of Attorney to be registered, it is also taking around 24 to 28 weeks for a Deputyship Order to be granted. Although the time frames for obtaining these documents are similar, the price of obtaining a Deputyship Order can be more expensive, in comparison to obtaining Lasting Power of Attorney.
Having the role of a deputy can also be more demanding, in comparison to an attorney. This is because the deputy has an obligation to submit an annual report to the Office of Public Guardian (an organisation that oversees all deputies). They must also obtain a ‘security bond’ each year, to ensure your funds are protected when you lack capacity.
Whilst it is advised to obtain a Lasting Power of Attorney rather than waiting until capacity is lost and obtaining a Deputyship Order, here at Stephensons we have a team of Court of Protection and Probate specialists, who can advise you as to which option is best for you.
For a friendly and supportive, no obligation, free discussion on whether we can help you please call us on 0161 696 6238.