Court of Protection
Deputyship orders and being a Deputy
Can I be a Court of Protection Deputy?
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If someone close to you has lost mental capacity, you might be considering applying to the Court of Protection to become a Deputy for that person.
Anyone aged 18 or over can apply, but this doesn’t mean anyone will be accepted as a Deputy by the Court. Typically, the Court will appoint a close relative or close friend of the person who needs help.
Finance and property Deputies also need to have the skills to be able to make financial decisions for the person who needs help.
There can be more than one Deputy and sometimes the Court prefers this. For example, if the person who wants to apply is very elderly, the Court will tend to favour appointing an additional person as joint deputy.
Where there is more than one deputy, the Court of Protection will decide how you can make decisions. You will either need to make decisions:
- Jointly – this means all the Deputies must agree on every decision; or
- Jointly and severally – this means the Deputies can make decisions on their own, or with the other Deputies.
The Court’s choice really depends on the circumstances.
Other types of Deputy
In some circumstances, it may be appropriate for the Court to appoint a Deputy who is neither a family member nor a close friend. This might be for example if there is nobody else suitable to fulfill the role of Deputy – or it might be because the person who needs help could benefit from having a professional Deputy.
Solicitors, accountants and Local Authority representatives can all be Court of Protection Deputies.
Alternatively, the Court has the option of appointing a ‘panel deputy’, chosen from a list of approved law firms and charities. Typically this will be if no other suitable person can be found.
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