Power of Attorney

Deputies: make decisions for someone who lacks capacity.

What is a deputy?

Deputies: make decisions for someone who lacks capacity

You can apply to become someone’s deputy if they ‘lack mental capacity’. This means they cannot make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made. They may still be able to make decisions for themselves at certain times.

People may lack mental capacity because, for example:

  • they’ve had a serious brain injury or illness
  • they have dementia
  • they have severe learning disabilities

As a deputy, you’ll be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf.

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    Overview

    You can apply to become someone’s deputy if they ‘lack mental capacity. This means they cannot make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made. They may still be able to make decisions for themselves at certain times.

    People may lack mental capacity because, for example:

    • they’ve had a serious brain injury or illness
    • they have dementia
    • they have severe learning disabilities

    As a deputy, you’ll be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf.

     

    Types of Deputy

    There are 2 types of deputy.

    Property and financial affairs deputy

    You’ll do things like pay the person’s bills or organise their pension.

    Personal welfare deputy

    You’ll make decisions about medical treatment and how someone is looked after.

    You cannot become someone’s personal welfare deputy if they’re under 16. Get legal advice if you think the court needs to make a decision about their care.

    The court will usually only appoint a personal welfare deputy if:

    • there’s doubt whether decisions will be made in someone’s best interests, for example because the family disagree about care
    • someone needs to be appointed to make decisions about a specific issue over time, for example where someone will live

    Read the full guidance about when you need to make a personal welfare application.

    Becoming a deputy

    You can apply to be just one type of deputy or both. If you’re appointed, you’ll get a court order saying what you can and cannot do.

    When you become a deputy, you must send an annual report to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) each year explaining the decisions you’ve made.

    How to apply

    Check you meet the requirements to be a deputy.

    Send the application forms to the Court of Protection and pay the application fee.

    You do not need to be a deputy if you’re just looking after someone’s benefits. Apply to become an appointee instead.

    Checks on your application

    The Court of Protection will check:

    • whether the person needs a deputy or some other kind of help
    • there are no objections to your appointment

    If you’re appointed, the Office of the Public Guardian will help you carry out your responsibilities.

    You’ll continue to be a deputy until your court order is changed, canceled, or expires.

     

     

    Other ways to make decisions for someone

    If you want to make a single important decision, you can apply to the Court of Protection for a one-off order.

    If the person already has a lasting power of attorney (LPA) or enduring power of attorney (EPA), they do not usually need a deputy. Check if they have an LPA or EPA before you apply.

     
     

    Who can apply to be a deputy?

    You can apply to be a deputy if you’re 18 or over. Deputies are usually close relatives or friends of the person who needs help making decisions.

    If you want to become a property and affairs deputy, you need to have the skills to make financial decisions for someone else.

    The court can appoint 2 or more deputies for the same person.

    When there’s more than one deputy

    When you apply, tell the court how you’ll make decisions if you’re not the only deputy. It will be either:

    • together (‘joint deputyship’), which means all the deputies have to agree on the decision
    • separately or together (‘jointly and severally’), which means deputies can make decisions on their own or with other deputies

    Other types of deputy

    Some people are paid to act as deputies, for example accountants, solicitors or representatives of the local authority.

     
     

    Court Application Fees

    You must pay:

    • a fee to apply to be a deputy
    • a supervision fee every year after you’ve been appointed

    You may also have to pay to set up a ‘security bond’ before you can be appointed as a property and affairs deputy.

    When you apply

    You must pay a £365 application fee. Send this with your application form.

    You need to pay the application fee twice if you’re applying to become both types of deputy.

    You’ll also need to pay £485 if the court decides your case needs a hearing. The court will tell you when you need to pay this.

    Make all cheques payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’.

    Security bonds for property and affairs deputies

    You may have to pay to set up a ‘security bond’ before you can be appointed as a property and affairs deputy. This is a type of insurance that protects the finances of the person you’re a deputy for.

    You do not have to set up a bond if either:

    • you’re representing a local authority
    • the court decides it’s not necessary, for example if the person’s estate has a low value

    If you need to set one up, you’ll get a letter from the court telling you this. The letter will explain what to do next.

    You set up the bond with a security bond provider. The amount you pay depends on:

    • the value of the estate of the person you’re a deputy for
    • how much of their estate you control

    You can pay it either:

    • using the person’s money
    • yourself – you can get the money back from the person’s estate once you have access to it

    After you’ve been appointed

    You must pay an annual supervision fee depending on what level of supervision your deputyship needs. You’ll pay:

    • £320 for general supervision
    • £35 for minimal supervision – this applies to some property and affairs deputies managing less than £21,000

    Your annual supervision fee is due on 31 March for the previous year.

    You’ll also need to pay a £100 assessment fee if you’re a new deputy.

    The Office of the Public Guardian will tell you how and when to pay your assessment and supervision fees.

    Getting Professional Help

    As we employ solicitors and accountants and we can help you by submitting the applications for you. 

    We charge a flat-rate fee of £299 per application inc VAT (This is in addition to the court application fees). 

    Attendance at court: Unfortunately due to the nature of the courts we cannot give a fixed price and our charges have to be on an hourly basis. Our charges are set at £175 per hour plus VAT. We cover the whole of England and Wales but may use a local solicitor near the court of attendance to reduce costs. 

    Providing a monthly accounting record: We can set up monthly accounting via our portal that will give you access to upload receipts and bank statements. We can then keep an accurate accounting record on your behalf. The fee for monthly portal access is £49 inc VAT based upon a 12-month contract. You cancel anytime after the 12 months. 

     

     

    Getting Medical Reports

    If the person you feel needs a deputy and it is a very recent diagnosis. It may well be worth checking if the medical practitioner believes the person is mentally capable of understanding and signing an LPA. 

    Medical reports are often considerably cheaper than applying to be a deputy.

    An LPA through Probate Specialist Ltd (PSL) costs £249. All parties sign electronically via email and are witnessed on video. Should the person be unable to sign for any reason we will automatically refund the full cost.  

    You can call free on 0808 188 9008 or you can call us on 0207 965 7568 local call charges apply 

    Probate Specialist Limited, 5th Floor, 167-169 Great Portland Street, Marylebone London, W1W 5PF

    Probate Specialist Limited 126, High Street , Marlborough SN8 1LZ

    For general email purposes you can email email@probatespecialistltd.co.uk or london@probatespecialistltd.co.uk

    You can also email your specialist directly on specialistname@probatespecialistltd.co.uk

    Probate Specialist Limited, The Office, 21 Ferozeshah Road, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 2JQ

    Company Number: 13015149

    ICO Reg Number ZA807624

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