When a loved one loses capacity, the sense of devastation and grief for those around them can be overwhelming, says Clare Newton from Tallents Solicitors in Newark. The family not only suffers the loss of the personality of the person they knew, often they now have to act on their behalf in many aspects of their daily lives.
Taking back control when mental capacity to make decisions is lost
Acting on your loved one’s behalf can commence immediately if Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) for Property and Financial Affairs and for Health and Welfare, have already been made and registered. As their Attorney, you automatically step into their shoes to act on their behalf in respect of their financial affairs and health when they lose capacity while still always acting in their best interests.
But what if they lose capacity and haven’t made LPAs appointing Attorneys to act on their behalf?
Well, all is not lost. There is the option of applying to the Court of Protection to be appointed as their Deputy. This is known as a Deputyship application and the experts at Tallents Solicitors are here to help you through the process.
The two types of Deputyship
Like LPAs, Deputies can be appointed to make decisions on both property and financial affairs, and health and welfare for the person lacking capacity. A separate application to the Court of Protection needs to be prepared for both types.
How to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship order
The first step is to have a formal mental capacity assessment carried out on the person lacking capacity by an independent assessor.
Once the assessment has been carried out and lack of capacity is confirmed, then the assessment together with the application for Deputyship and supporting evidence can be submitted to the Court of Protection.
As part of the application, a full disclosure of the person lacking capacity’s property, finances, investments and other assets must be submitted to the Court. This will also be accompanied by full disclosure of the proposed Deputy’s background and financial position so that the Court can decide on the suitability of the proposed Deputy to act on someone’s behalf.
How long does it take for a Deputyship Order to be issued by the Court of Protection?
It can take some time to gather all the information required to submit the Deputyship application, particularly if you have not been involved with their financial affairs of the person lacking capacity in the past and therefore don’t know what bank accounts, investments, shares and other assets they may have.
Once you have the information and the application is sent off, you can expect it to take around six months for the Deputyship Order to be issued. During that time, their assets will be frozen, which can be problematic particularly if they need to pay care home fees.
All is not lost – let us help you apply to the Court of Protection for Deputyship
Clare finishes: If you find yourself in the position where a loved one has lost capacity without registered Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, please don’t panic because all is not lost. At Tallents Solicitors, we have a highly experienced team to help and guide you through whatever circumstances you find yourself in.