Apply for a Deputy Order – helping you to have the legal authority to manage an incapacitated loved-one’s property and financial affairs
Ben Saunders Solicitor
New Year’s Day 2023 saw a change to the procedure for applying for a Deputy Order.
In an ideal world, a person who lacks capacity to make their own decisions regarding their property and financial affairs will have made (at a time when they had mental capacity) a Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) or, prior to 1 October 2007, an Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPA”). This LPA or EPA would then give the person or people named as attorney(s) the legal authority to manage their property and financial affairs on their behalf.
However, as we are all too aware in these difficult times, we do not live in an ideal world and so it can be the case that a person loses mental capacity without having made a Lasting Power of Attorney or an Enduring Power of Attorney. Alternatively, the person named as attorney may have died, lost mental capacity himself/herself or no longer wishes to act as attorney.
In these scenarios, the route available to a family to have the legal authority to start managing the incapacitated person’s property and financial affairs is to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputy Order.
The Deputy Order procedure involves making an application to the Court of Protection setting out the incapacitated person’s property and financial situation, providing medical evidence that the person lacks mental capacity and explaining why the person who wishes to be appointed as Deputy is the most appropriate person in the circumstances. There is also a strict Notice procedure which needs to be followed before the Court will consider the application – it is this Notice procedure which was changed on 1 January 2023 such that the incapacitated person now needs to be notified prior to the application being submitted to the Court and Court forms completed accordingly (the previous practice was that formal notification of the person involved took place only once the Court had received the application).
If you would like to apply to be a Deputy for a family member or loved-one who has lost mental capacity, we at HMG Law can guide you through the process and make sure that the correct procedures are followed at each stage of the application.
Please contact our experienced Wills and Probate team on 01865 244661 (Oxford office) or 01869 252244 (Bicester office) to arrange an initial meeting.