Although it is not a pleasant thought to consider, it is important to identify who you would appoint to make important decisions for you in your life should you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance where you lose the mental capacity to make important life decisions. Ideally, you would have appointed a Power of Attorney prior to this situation, but if you find yourself in this situation, the qualified and highly skilled solicitors at Larcomes are here to help.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) provides a framework to protect vulnerable people over the age of 16 who cannot make their own decisions. If someone cannot make a confident decision for themselves, they are said to ‘lack capacity’ to make the decision. People who work with or care for adults who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves have a legal duty to consider the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice.
This article will outline the meaning of Deputyship and how to identify whether or not one lacks the mental capacity to make the important life decisions necessary, thus requiring Deputyship. It also covers how to apply for a deputyship order.
What is Deputyship Order?
A deputyship order is when you are given the ability to make decisions on behalf of an individual who has lost the capacity to take care of or make important life decisions for themselves. You can apply for a Deputyship if there is no lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney to be appointed by the said individual.
What is the difference between a Deputyship and Lasting Power of Attorney?
Powers of Attorney and Deputyship Orders are similar as they both give people the legal authority to act and make decisions on behalf of someone who has lost the mental capability of doing so themselves. There are, however, a number of key differences between a Deputyship Order and a Lasting Power of Attorney. Powers of Attorney are appointed in preparation for future situations; they are appointed in advance of the loss of mental capacity. On the other hand, Deputyship orders are seen as a last resort when a decision has to be made for the mentally incapable individual, but no one has been appointed the legal authority to do so.
Are there different Deputy types, and can I have more than one?
There are two different types of Deputyship orders. One being Property and Affairs Deputyship which is the most common. It is used to manage an individual’s financial affairs if they can no longer do this themselves. The Court will not appoint a Deputy if this individual has already appointed an attorney for this purpose. If the said individual only has an income from benefits and no property or savings, there will be no need for a Deputy to be appointed.
The second type of Deputyship order is the Personal Welfare Deputyship. This is if the person lacks the capacity to make decisions about their care and treatment has not been appointed to an attorney.
The Court can appoint two or more Deputies for the same person.
How do I apply for a Deputyship Order?
You can apply to be someone’s Deputy if they do not have a Lasting power of attorney or they cannot make the decisions for themselves at the time it is required. The main reason behind the need for a Deputyship order could be because of long term illness or an unexpected injury that has occurred. After being appointed as a Deputy, the Court of Protection will authorise you to help them make decisions when needed, or if they’re unable to make that decision, to do so on their behalf.
How can Larcomes Solicitors help with regard to Deputyship?
The team here at Larcomes can help you with your application and ask the Court of Protection to decide whether someone has the capacity to make a decision in their best interests if one lacks the mental capacity. We can also help when the Court of Protection has appointed you as Deputy to make and take the appropriate decisions.
If you require assistance in making a Deputyship Application to the Court of Protection, then call our Court of Protection specialist Chloe Evans on (023) 92448 170. For further information about how Larcomes can help you with your Deputyship enquiries, click here.