Lay Deputyship Services
When someone becomes mentally incapable of handling their financial affairs or making personal welfare decisions, and they have not created a Lasting Power of Attorney prior to losing capacity, it is necessary to appoint a deputy to manage those affairs and make important decisions on their behalf.
Deputies must be over 18 and they must be of sound character (therefore criminal convictions and bankruptcy may impede an application). It is also an expectation that the proposed deputy will have a close connection to the incapacitated party, or that they will be a qualified professional.
The first port of call is to see if a close friend or relative of the person is able to act. This is often sensible in cases where limited decisions need to be made, where there is consensus amongst family members about treatment or financial decisions or where the person’s assets are of a limited value and fairly straightforward in their management.
It is more common for the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy to manage a person’s financial affairs than to appoint a deputy to make personal health and welfare decisions on their behalf. Sometimes welfare decisions can be a source of disagreement between the individual at the heart of that decision, their family members and professionals involved in their care. In those circumstances it is more likely that the Court would step in and make decisions on the incapacitated person’s behalf as and when it becomes necessary. For more information on health and welfare disputes, please click here.
There are certain situations where it may be more appropriate for a professional deputy (usually a solicitor) to be appointed, instead of a family member. Please see our page on professional deputyship services for more information by clicking here.
We can provide support every step of the way from making the application to the Court of Protection for a family member to be appointed as a deputy through to providing assistance with carrying out the day to day duties of a deputy, including completing the annual deputy’s return that needs to be filed.
We can offer advice, support and guidance to help lay deputies undertake their role effectively and confidently, whilst adhering to their Court ordered responsibilities. We are also able to advise and support you through any subsequent Court applications or Office of the Public Guardian enquiries and investigations. Please contact us for more information about lay deputyship applications and support.
For our factsheet containing more information about our Lay Deputyship Services, please click here.
We have published some useful information on applying to become a lay deputy on our website. This gives step by step guidance and sample letters to help guide you through the application process. See our Child Trust Fund page for the resource pack.