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What is the Court of Protection?

View profile for Paige Richards
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Court of Protection decides that man with irreversible stoma has the right to choose to die

The Court of Protection is a court which makes decisions or appoints someone (a 'deputy’), to help make decisions on behalf of a person (a ‘donor’) who lacks mental capacity. Anybody can apply to become a deputy; however, they must be over the age of 18.

In most cases, some relatives or friends of the donor apply to become a deputy. Having said that, if they feel that they are not appropriate for the deputyship role, they can choose a law firm to become a professional deputy.

Prior to applying to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order, you need to notify the person the application is in regards too, as well as any close contacts that person may have.

Following this, the court will consider the application. They may provide the deputyship order appointing the deputy, or they may send an interim order which asks the applicant to provide more evidence where necessary. If the deputyship order is granted, the order will include what the deputy can and cannot do. This can include things such as selling or buying property, payment of bills, completing benefit applications.

Each year a deputy needs to complete an annual report, explaining all the decisions that you have made as a deputy, as well as providing information regarding the donor’s bank accounts.

When making decisions on behalf of the donor, deputies need to ensure that they are acting in the best interests of the donor. If the court believe the deputy is not acting in the best interest, they can choose to remove the deputy or change how much authority the deputy has.

The deputyship order will last for the donor’s whole life, having said that applications can be submitted to the court for a new deputy to be appointed if the current deputy chooses to retire from the role.

Here at Stephensons we have a team of specialists, who can be appointed as professional deputies and assist with the ongoing responsibilities of a deputy. We are currently acting as professional deputies for many clients, managing large funds as well as completing annual reports. For a friendly and supportive, no obligation, free discussion on whether we can help you please call us on 0161 696 6238.