Court of Protection Solicitors
If you are concerned that a loved one lacks the mental capacity to manage their own affairs and want to know more about the processes involved in taking legal responsibility for them, our Court of Protection solicitors can help you.
Dealing with matters of this nature can place you under pressure or leave you feeling intimidated, especially if you have minimal experience in taking legal responsibility for someone. That is why seeking Court of Protection legal advice from specialist lawyers is so important.
Percy Hughes and Roberts Solicitors can not only advise you on the necessary steps required to take responsibility for someone's affairs, but we also provide guidance on how to be an effective and dependable deputy for that person.
Based in our headquarters in Birkenhead, we have been serving the Wirral, Merseyside and the North West with the highest quality legal services for more than 100 years.
To speak to our Court of Protection solicitors, contact us by calling 0151 666 9090 or fill out an online enquiry form and we will get back to you at a time that is convenient for you.
How can our Court of Protection solicitors help you?
The specialist Court of Protection team at PHR can guide you through the entire process of any related legal process. We are here to help and give you the answers you need if any of the following apply to you:
- You are worried about the ability of a loved one to manage their own affairs and make decisions for themselves
- You are involved in a dispute about the above
- You are worried about your ability to manage your own affairs
- You are worried about the ability of someone else managing your own affairs, or those of a loved one
- You are already responsible for managing someone else's affairs
- You are involved in a dispute about the best interests of a person with regards to care or medical treatment
The legal services we can offer include, but are not limited to:
- Lasting Powers of Attorney or Enduring Powers of Attorney
- Appointing a deputy or acting as a deputy
When you first call us, we will hold an initial consultation to understand your circumstances and goals. We understand the stress that is often associated with issues involving the Court of Protection. You can be confident that our solicitors will support you and your family members through any protection proceedings, ensuring that you are supplied with specialist legal advice at every turn.
Our offices are located in Birkenhead on the Wirral but we help clients from all over the North West of England to handle sensitive matters like those related to the Court of Protection.
What is the Court of Protection?
On 1st October 2007, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 became law. The main focus of the act is to provide statutory protection for those who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions, including those detained under the Mental Health Act 2007. Among other things, the act set up the Court of Protection, which has the jurisdiction to decide whether or not a person lacks capacity to make decisions.
The Court of Protection can also make declarations, orders and directions for people who lack capacity. The body can appoint someone to make decisions in the best interests for someone who cannot do so for themselves. The appointed decision makers are called 'deputies'.
What is the Role of the Court of Protection? What Does the Court of Protection Do?
If you are a relative or close friend of someone who cannot make decisions for themselves, you may be eligible to be appointed by the Court of Protection to act as that person's deputy.
To be considered, it will be necessary to submit an application to the Court of Protection. The application must include a doctor's report so that the judge can decide whether or not the person concerned does lack capacity.
Details of the person's financial and welfare circumstances will be included in the application. You will also have to complete a declaration so that the Court can decide whether or not you are a suitable person to be appointed as a deputy.
In most cases, the application is looked at by the judge without the need for you to attend a hearing in the Court of Protection.
What are the responsibilities of a deputy?
Deputies are appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions for people who lack mental capacity. They have a duty to act in the best interests of the person they are representing and complete the responsibilities that they agree to. These can vary depending on the type of deputyship they hold and the specific powers granted to them by the court. These responsibilities often include:
- Making decisions: these can include decisions about property, financial affairs, and personal welfare, depending on the type of deputyship granted.
- Acting in the best interests: all decisions must be made in the person's best interests, considering their past and present wishes, beliefs, and values.
- Maintaining records: deputies must keep detailed records of the decisions they make and the reasons behind them. This includes records of the person's finances if they are managing their property and financial affairs.
- Reporting to the Court of Protection: deputies must submit an annual report to the Court of Protection detailing the decisions they have made. If they manage the person's finances, they also need to give the court an account of how the money has been spent.
- Adhering to the Mental Capacity Act: deputies must adhere to the principles of the Mental Capacity Act, and follow the code of practice.
What is the process for becoming a deputy?
The process of becoming a deputy is managed by the Court of Protection and involves several key steps:
- Check eligibility: the person intending to be a deputy must be at least 18 years old and should be a close relative or friend of the person who needs help making decisions. Alternatively, a chosen solicitor can become a professional deputy.
- Choose the type of deputyship: there are two types of deputyship - one for property and financial affairs, and one for personal health and welfare. You will need to decide which type is needed, although it is common to apply for property and financial affairs deputyship.
- Complete the application forms: there are a few different forms to complete. These include an application form, an assessment of capacity form (which will need to be filled out by a medical professional), and a deputy's declaration form where you detail why you are suitable to be a deputy.
- Notify relevant parties: relatives and anyone else involved in the application need to be notified in writing and given a chance to object if they disagree with the application.
- Submit the application: the completed forms along with the application fee need to be sent to the Court of Protection.
- Court decision: the court will review the application and, provided the request fits all of the requirements, issue a court order officially outlining the deputy's powers.
Professional guidance from the expert Court of Protection solicitors at PHR can ensure that your application process is handled efficiently and correctly.
How much does it cost to make a deputyship application?
To apply for a deputyship you must pay a fee of £371. This can be done by sending a cheque included in your application. If the court decides your case requires a hearing, you will be required to pay £494. This may be the case if there are any objections to your application that need to be assessed in court proceedings.
In addition to the application fee, deputies must pay a supervision fee every year. The amount varies depending on the level of supervision your deputyship requires. This can be £320 for general supervision or £35 for minimal supervision.
There may also be other costs involved, such as the assessment fee if a healthcare professional needs to assess the person's mental capacity.
Applying for deputyship is not a decision that should be made lightly - seek advice from our solicitors for help understanding the commitment.
Why choose our Court of Protection solicitors?
At Percy Hughes & Roberts Solicitors, we strive to deliver the highest possible standards at all times. This is reflected by the fact we hold a Lexcel accreditation, recognising the hard work and commitment we offer to our clients.
We are proud of our long tradition of providing active and practical help to the community we serve, and helping people most in need access clear, simple and cost-effective legal advice. Our solicitors can help you to navigate the complexities of the Court of Protection, making any process straightforward.
Contact Percy Hughes & Roberts
To speak to our Court of Protection solicitors at Percy Hughes & Roberts, give us a call on 0151 666 9090, or complete the enquiry form on our contact page to send us a query by email.
We pride ourselves on offering expert advice that's easy to understand, and we will be with you through every step of the legal process. Our offices are based in Birkenhead, but we service the wider Wirral, Liverpool, Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales area, as well as clients nationwide.