If someone loses the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves – perhaps because of an accident or an illness – doesn’t automatically have the right to act for them. Instead, their affairs come under the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection. Among other powers, this court can appoint a ‘deputy’ to make decisions on that person’s behalf. A deputy is very often a relative or close friend of the person who has lost their mental capacity, but you’ll need to apply to the court and satisfy a complex legal procedure.
To be a deputy, you must be over the age of 18, and be able to show the court that you’re financially sound. The application process starts with some forms and may include a court hearing. There are two types of deputies: those who deal with someone’s financial affairs, and those who make decisions about their medical treatment and how they’re looked after. You can be both types, or just one. The exact scope of decisions you’ll be allowed to make will be decided by the court and will depend on the circumstances of your deputyship.
Making an application to the Court of Protection can be a complex and difficult process. But our team of legal experts can advise you every step of the way – answering your questions about becoming a deputy, guiding you through the application, and explaining the timescales and fees involved.
All advice contained within this section relates to England and Wales only.