How Do I Become a Deputy?

Kayleigh Smith
Author:
Kayleigh Smith
Associate Solicitor, Court of Protection
Date:
06/12/2021

To become a Deputy for someone who has lost capacity, you have to make an application to the Court of Protection.

In your application, you’ll need to provide detailed information about your loved one, including their circumstances and financial situation. The Court will then decide whether a Deputy is needed and who will be appointed.

If you’d like support with applying for a Deputyship, our Court of Protection Solicitors will be happy to help you. Get in touch to discuss your situation today.

Call us on 0800 260 5010 or request a callback

Why Become a Deputy?

A Deputy may need to be appointed by the Court if a person has lost the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. This might be because they’ve got dementia, a learning disability, or a serious brain injury or illness.

It may be that the person is unable to make any decisions at all or just decisions about particular things.

Being someone’s Deputy is an important responsibility and you’ll be required to act in their best interests at all times when making decisions for them.

There are two types of Deputyships:

  • Property and financial affairs – you’ll be responsible for paying bills and arranging their pension

  • Personal welfare – you’ll decide what medical treatment the person will get and how they should be looked after

What Should You Consider?

Before applying to become a Deputy, you need to be sure that this is the best option for your loved one.

For example:

  • Are they struggling to make all decisions or just one? If it’s just the one important decision, you can choose to apply to the Court of Protection for a one-off order instead

  • Do you want to apply for just one type of Deputyship or both?

  • Do you meet the requirements for a Deputy? I.e. are you aged 18 or over?

  • Do you want to share the responsibility with anyone else? The Court can decide to appoint two or more Deputies for the same person

How to Apply for a Deputyship

  1. Submitting the paperwork to the Court of Protection - Our Court of Protection Solicitors can help you complete and submit all of the necessary forms, including any supporting evidence, an assessment of capacity and your declaration.

  2. Paying the Court fee - You will usually need to pay for this up front, but you can ask the Court to reimburse the cost from your loved one’s finances.

  3. Your application will be checked - The Court of Protection will consider your loved one’s situation and what’s best for them. They will decide whether they need a Deputy or a different arrangement in place.

  4. The Court will appoint a Deputy - The Court will either appoint you as Deputy or they might decide to appoint a professional Deputy. Don’t be disheartened if you’re not appointed – it might be because your loved one’s financial or family situation is complicated and the Court feels they would benefit more from a professional Deputy.

Joint Deputyship

It’s possible to act as a joint Deputy with one or more people. Joint Deputies can choose to make all decisions together or certain decisions by themselves but they must be in joint agreement that any decision made is in the best interests of the person they’re acting for.

Sometimes one Deputy will make the majority of decisions but will ask other Deputies to get involved in big decisions such as medical treatment, moving someone into a care home or selling a property to pay for care.

How Long Does a Deputyship Application Take?

A Deputyship application can take anything from a few weeks to a few months to complete. Usually, the Court of Protection aim to make a decision within 4 to 6 months.

If your application is urgent, because your loved one requires urgent medical treatment or they’re at risk of losing their home or life, it’s possible to make an emergency application to the Court of Protection.

Our Court of Protection team can help you with your Deputyship, whether you just want some advice or you want us to handle the full application process for you.

For free legal advice call our Court of Protection Solicitors

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