Deputies Appointed by the Court of Protection

If a relative or friend loses their capacity to make decisions and act for themselves, you may find yourself in the position of having to act on their behalf.

This may involve helping them:

  • Deal with their finances; or
  • Communicating decisions about to their care or medical treatment

You may have to apply to the Court of Protection to become a Court appointed Deputy for that person, if:

  • That person has not appointed an Attorney to do this for them, under an Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney; and
  • Ongoing decisions need to be made about such matters

Role and Duties of a Deputy

  • This will depend heavily on the needs and requirements of the person you are appointed to assist
  • The Court will set out in full the extent of your role and the powers that you have 
  • You may need to deal with any aspect of the person’s day to day care and medical treatment and their financial affairs
  • You must only make decisions that you are authorised to do by the Court and that are in the person’s best interests

The Court will also expect you to adhere to the five key principles set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005:

  • Every adult has the right to make their own decisions and must be assumed to have the capacity to do so unless proved otherwise
  • A person must be given all practicable help before anyone treats them as not being able to make their own decisions
  • Just because an individual makes an unwise decision, they should not be treated as lacking capacity to make that decision
  • Anything done or any decision made on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done in their best interests
  • Anything done for or on behalf of the person who lacks capacity should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms

Get to know the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice

You should also be familiar with the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice and have regard to it. 

The Act describes the responsibilities of those who work with and care for adults who lack capacity.  This can be downloaded from the Office of the Public Guardian website (www.publicguardian.gov.uk).

Advice on making an application

  • We strongly recommend that you take advice from a Solicitor
  • You should fully understand what your obligations as a Deputy are before deciding to go ahead
  • The responsibility is time consuming and sometimes challenging
  • To apply, you must complete the Court of Protection’s prescribed forms. 
  • The process can take some months and a Court fee is payable 
  • The forms include:
    • An assessment of the capacity of the person whom you are applying to assist, completed by their treating doctor
    • Full details of that person’s property and affairs
    • A declaration from you, confirming your ability to act as Deputy

Getting in touch

For more information, please contact David Endicott on 01295 204005 or email dendicott@se-law.co.uk