When it comes to family members losing their mental capacity, it can be heart-breaking. There are ways in which you can ease their burden.
That’s where the Court of Protection comes in, this court helps in managing the daily life of those who no longer have the means to themselves.
Court of protection explained
The Court of Protection is a specialised court that deals with decisions and actions taken under the Mental Capacity Act. This Act refers to when someone is no longer able to make decisions for themselves, such as if they no longer have the mental capacity to do so.
You can plan ahead, with asking someone close to you to be able to make decisions for you in these cases. Likewise, there are contingencies in place for times when you have not planned ahead.
Whether it’s you or someone helping you make these plans, you will need to apply to this court to seek permission for decisions regarding health, financial affairs, welfare and property management.
The Court is also in place for any disagreements that cannot be settled in regards to mental wellbeing. Any challenges to an authorisation, or disputes about their use, will be settled here also.
Essentially, the Court will have these responsibilities for decisions as well as assisting on matters regarding depriving someone of their liberty under the Mental Capacity Act.
Seeking out expert help
If you have any concern when it comes to a loved one, you should seek out an expert solicitor to help. There are Court of Protection solicitors who specialise in these family matters, such as Osbornes Law. They can offer skilled lawyers that understand the situation and all the difficulty and distress that it can cause. They approach every individual case with empathy and compassion.
When working with a Court of Protection solicitor, you’ll usually have a detailed discussion with them. This way, they will know whether or not any court proceedings will be needed to protect your loved one’s interests.
These lawyers will also offer guidance to deputies appointed to improve their effectiveness in decision making.
The deputies involvement
The Court appoint a deputy that manages someone’s affairs. Deputies are a trusted individual who will be given a legal authority to make the important decisions, such as healthcare and financial issues going forward.
This splits the deputies into two. The personal welfare deputy will have authority regarding the individual’s medical treatment, overall healthcare and how they are looked after day-to-day.
The property and financial affairs deputy will have the authority for paying bills for living, as well as other financial matters, including pension management.
You need to be formally appointed by the Court of Protection in order to be a deputy. Once appointed, there will be some further administrative tasks.
A professional deputy is a solicitor that is appointed to manage properties and financial affairs for those lacking mentally. Of course, you or a close family member can be appointed but it’s quite sensible to let an experienced individual take over. This is because it will help unburden the family in regards to complex financial matters.
It’s no easy task being a deputy, it can be challenging both to your life personally and professionally, which is why there is more demand for professional deputies. Deputies are required to do tasks such as notifying banks, pension providers and other local authorities of the changes.
The costs involved
Usually, there are application fees involved with going through the Court of Protection. However, in certain circumstances, you could be excused from these application fees and gain an exemption. This will be due to financial issues and the government can provide assistance.
Who is eligible?
Aside from you or a guardian, an attorney, deputy or anyone legally named in the matter can apply without permission too. If someone brings legal action forward to the Court of Protection on your behalf due to you lacking the capacity, you can still be included. This is where you can get a solicitor if able, if you’re not, then the Court will consider how you get involved.
Disagreements with the court
The decision isn’t airtight. You are able to challenge decisions by applying to the Court of Appeal. In most cases, you will need to seek permission for this.
Consider seeking out further legal advisor from your Court of Protection solicitor to help work with you. They will be able to find out how likely you are to win your case, and if you’re even able to get legal aid. If your solicitor doesn’t think you are likely to win, then you should consider alternative methods of challenging.