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Court of Protection

Court of Protection

The Court of Protection looks after two areas of law that we can help you with;

  • Lasting Powers of Attorney
  • Deputyship

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to give someone you trust the legal power to make decisions on your behalf in case you later become unable to make decisions or manage things for yourself.

The person who makes the LPA is known as the ‘donor’ and the person given the power to make decisions is known as the ‘attorney’.

You can appoint several attorneys to share the responsibility.

The Court of Protection provides safeguards to ensure that your best interests are being acted upon.

There are two different types of LPA:

  • An LPA for Property and Financial Affairs covers decisions about money and property.
  • An LPA for Health and Welfare covers decisions about health and personal welfare.

Many of our clients prefer to make both types of LPA at the same time as making their Will. They often do so in conjunction with their spouse or partner as this gives peace of mind that they are covered for any issues that can occur later in life and know that their wishes will be carried out.

LPA for Property and Financial Affairs

Sometimes it is necessary. in later life, to nominate someone you trust to look after your affairs just in case a time comes when you become mentally or physically incapacitated.

A Lasting Power of Attorney enables the person you choose to manage your property and general affairs, (in the event of you being unable to manage them yourself); with the measure of power that you define while you are still able to do so.

The Court of Protection imposes safeguards and the LPA must be registered with the Court of Protection (which can take up to 8 weeks) for it to have effect and enable your attorney(s) to use it.

We can advise you on:

  • The choice of Attorney or Attorneys
  • The level of signature or authority that is appropriate
  • Restrictions that you would like to impose
  • The duties of Attorneys

Please call us on 0191 4974630 or 0191 4555361 for initial advice or an appointment, or alternatively please complete and submit our online form.

LPA for Health and Welfare

This has a different focus to a LPA for Property and Financial Affairs as it allows your attorney(s) to make decisions about anything to do with your health and personal welfare.

Your attorney can be anyone over the age of 18, such as a spouse, partner, family member or friend.

You will appoint them to make decisions about:

  • your medical treatment
  • where you are cared for
  • the type of care you receive
  • day-to-day things like your diet, how you dress and your daily routine

You can list any instructions that your attorney(s) must follow, or any preferences that you would like them to take into account when making decisions on your behalf.

You will also need to choose whether or not you want your attorney(s) to be able to make decisions about life-sustaining treatment. If you choose not to, then all decisions about life-sustaining treatment will be made by your healthcare team, unless you have made an advance decision (Living Will).

Any decision your attorney makes about your health and welfare must be made in your best interests.

You need to trust your attorney to understand your wishes, respect your values and make the decisions that you would want. Your attorney must be able to make potentially difficult decisions on your behalf, so it is important that you discuss your wishes with anyone who you would like to act as your attorney before you nominate them.

It is often difficult to know who to appoint as an attorney for a health and welfare LPA and to help you decide who to choose, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • Do they understand my wishes?
  • Will they respect my values?
  • Could they stand up for what I want, even if a doctor disagrees?

Please call us on 0191 4974630 or 0191 4555361 for initial advice or an appointment, or alternatively please complete and submit our online form.

Deputyship Order

You can apply to the Court of Protection to become a Deputy for a person if they lack mental capacity. This means they can’t make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made. People may lack mental capacity because, for example:

  • they have had a serious brain injury or illness
  • they have dementia
  • they have severe learning disabilities
  • they are very frail or elderly and cannot look after themselves

As a Deputy, you will be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf.

There are 2 types of deputy:

  • Property and financial affairs deputy which will allow you to pay the person’s bills or organise their pension.
  • Personal welfare deputy where you will make decisions about medical treatment and how someone is looked after.

You can apply to be just one type of deputy or both. If you are appointed, you will receive a Court Order stipulating what you can and cannot do within the terms of the Order.

When you become a Deputy, you must send an annual report to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), explaining the decisions you have made during the year.

How we can help

  • We can help you to check that you meet the requirements to be a Deputy
  • Assist you in obtaining the medical evidence you require
  • Draw up the forms to the Court of Protection (there is an application fee), or
  • One of our solicitors can apply to be Deputy (only for Property and Financial Affairs). Our Solicitors carry out this role  usually when there is no one else available to be appointed

Checks on your application

The Court of Protection will check:

  • whether the person  who is the subject of the application needs a Deputy or some other kind of help
  • there are no objections to your appointment

If you are appointed, the Office of the Public Guardian will help you to carry out your responsibilities which you will continue until the Court Order is changed, cancelled or expires.

A Deputyship Order expires on the death of the person who is the subject of the Order.

There are other ways to make decisions for someone:

  • You don’t need to be a deputy if you are just looking after someone’s benefits as you can apply to become an appointee instead
  • If you want to make a single important decision, you can apply to the Court for a one- off order
  • If the person already has a lasting power of attorney (LPA) they don’t usually need a deputy. We can help you check if there is an LPA or EPA in place.

Please call us on 0191 4974630 or 0191 4555361 for initial advice or an appointment, or alternatively please complete and submit our online form.

Please call us on 0191 497 4630 or 0191 455 5361 to arrange an initial meeting to discuss your individual circumstances and outline your options.

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