Court of Protection

DEPUTYSHIPS

If you have a family member or a friend who has lost mental capacity our specialist solicitors will provide all the legal support, you need to do your best for your loved one.

Unable make decisions for themselves your loved one needs a caring and responsible person to take control of his or her affairs. He or she may not be able to express this, but we often hear from people who recover capacity that they were counting on someone like you to step up and be involved in their deputyship.

If you have the time to help them, the law permits you to apply to the Court of Protection to become their appointed deputy.  Their satisfaction and gratefulness, they often say, derives from the fact that someone who knew their character and who they trusted, decided to step forward and assist them by making important decisions on their behalf.

Obinna Baranta

Obinna Baranta

Partner

In order to make decisions for another person and or be involved in the decisions made by other professionals for that person, you need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order.

The Court of Protection is the only establishment with power to appoint a family member, friend, or a professional to manage the day to day affairs of a person who has lost capacity.

Your loved one’s loss of capacity may relate to a particular type of decision or general decision making. In each possibility we know the correct application to make and the Court of Protection will make an appropriate order.

A person may be able to make decisions about everyday issues like which area they want to live in, which friends and relatives they would like to visit them. Still, the same person may lack mental capacity to make more complex decisions such as whether to adapt their home for geriatric care or move into permanent residential care.

Mental capacity matters can be sensitive and may be stressful.

Our solicitors have helped many families to overcome all associated worries by providing on-going support and we would be happy to do the same for you.

Please contact us for a consultation.

Our Standard Deputyship Application Service costs £550 + Vat.

A standard application is one that is straightforward and has no complicating factors. We can provide particular quotes for non-standard applications.

Your total payment including VAT will be: £660

Please note that you will also have to pay for any Disbursements.

Disbursements are payments that we have to make to third parties on your behalf: such as court fees.

In most cases the Court allows payments of legal expenses to be made from the funds of the incapacitated person.

  • General Advice on Court of Protection Law and Procedures
  • Appointment of Co-Trustee(s) for sale of property
  • Deeds of Variation
  • On-going Deputyship Administration work
  • Interim or Short Orders
  • Urgent Applications
  • Statutory Codicil
  • Statutory Wills
  • We provide an exceptionally efficient service to our clients on all Court of Protection matters
  • We have experience and expertise in this area
  • We have a Law Society Mental Health Panel Member solicitor who can cover issues arising in relation to Mental Health
  • Our costs are transparent and reasonable
  • We operate a reasonable fee structure with no hidden extras
  • We offer a consultation on telephone or in our offices whichever you prefer
  • We can offer Home Visits across the South East, South West & North East of England
  • Our Home Visit times are flexible 7 am – 7 pm (Weekend visits are available on request)
  • We accept the responsibility and burden of making the Application to the Court of Protection from you – so that you can concentrate on caring for your loved one.  So far in 2018, 98% of our customers have rated our service ‘excellent’.

The Court of Protection was established to look after people who do not have mental capacity.

In its functioning, this court is close to the Family Courts.

It focuses on making sure that a person who is able to make decisions about themselves is not prevented from making his or her own decisions.

Where it is established that a person is not able to make decisions for themselves, the Court of Protection aims and to protect persons from abuse or exploitation by regulating how decisions about the person are made.

Applications are often made to this Court for appointment of a family member, a friend or a solicitor to act as Professional Deputy.

This permits the appointed person to make decisions for the person who now lacks mental capacity for as long as the person continues to lack capacity.

Our Court of Protection Solicitors provides specialist services in this area.

We apply our knowledge and experience for the benefit of our clients.

Contact us today and find out more about how we can help you.

Deputyships and Lasting Powers of Attorney – how do these relate?

If someone has made a Lasting Power of Attorney they will not need a deputy in most cases.
A Lasting Power of Attorney, often referred to as LPA, is a document setting out a person’s wishes in the event that the person loses mental capacity.
In the LPA the person making the LPA would appoint an Attorney to make decisions for them and this is why in most cases a Deputy will not be required.

If a person who has lost capacity has not made a Lasting Power of Attorney, then an application may be submitted to the Court of Protection to request the court to appoint a Deputy for that person.

Children with Birth Injuries

Deputies are also needed for children in some cases.

This will often happen when a child has been affected by negligent medical treatment which has resulted in brain injury.
In these cases, it is usual for the Court of Protection to become involved at an early stage.

The Court in fulfillment of its duty will on application by any interested party appoint a Deputy to take care of the child’s finances or the child’s health and welfare.

A person will only be appointed if the court is satisfied that such appointment is in the best interest of the child.

What Powers of The Court of Protection Have? What Orders Can It Make?

The Court of Protection decides whether a person has the mental capacity to decide on a matter or a range of matters for themselves.

The court will usually receive evidence from experts about mental health disorders and disabilities that prevent the person from thinking about or communicating their wishes and decisions

Inappropriate cases our firm can help to arrange for an independent expert to assess the mental capacity of your loved one.

If you are a client who is contesting the views of others that you lack mental capacity to make decisions, we can help you by instructing an expert to report on your own mental capacity.

This is often necessary in order to successfully challenge an attempt by other persons, such as, a care home managers or your family members, to gain the power to make decision about you.

 

Expert Reports on Mental Capacity

It is possible that the court may be presented with more than one expert opinion. In these cases, the court will choose which expert opinion to prefer if the experts disagree on the issue of capacity.

Mostly, doctors tend to have similar views on mental capacity even though differences of opinions occur sometimes.

If several experts agree that the relevant person lacks mental capacity the Court of Protection is likely to also agree.

Our firm maintains a list of expert independent medical professionals that we can urgently instruct to conduct assessments before we commence a matter at the Court of Protection

How is Mental Capacity Assessed?

The final decision on whether or not a person has mental capacity is for the Court of Protection.
The Judges in the Court of Protection have specialist experience and rely on inputs from several mental capacity experts.

Your solicitors can make an Application to the Court of Protection for you and they will usually obtain an independent expert opinion from medical trained assessors.

Expert Reports on Mental Capacity

It is possible that the court may be presented with more than one expert opinion. In these cases, the court will choose which expert opinion to prefer if the experts disagree on the issue of capacity.

Mostly, doctors tend to have similar views on mental capacity even though differences of opinions occur sometimes.
If several experts agree that the relevant person lacks mental capacity the Court of Protection is likely to also agree.

Our firm maintains a list of expert independent medical professionals that we can urgently instruct to conduct assessments before we commence matter at the Court of Protection.

Why are you more likely to get a good service from our Court of Protection team?

After submitting your Deputyship Application to the Court and assisting your appointment as a Deputy for your loved one, our solicitors will support you when you resume your role as a Deputy.

Some relatives do worry that their decisions might be overprotective, or that they might be over-influenced by emotions and care for the person when important decisions should be based on practical considerations.

Also, in order to maintain neutrality and good relations children of an aging parent may decide that appointment of a professional deputy is the best option.

Most importantly, our solicitors will explain the Codes of Practice to the Mental Capacity Act and the Court of Protection Rules to you if you plan to act as a Lay Deputies so that you are always legally compliant.

We also provide professional deputies with the know-how they need to manage administrative aspects of deputyship.

Administrative duties of a deputy include filing and payment of taxes, managing pension, and social care benefits, the filing of annual reports.

Other responsibilities may be matters such as procurement of adaptions to properties that will enable the person who lacks the capacity to move back to their own home. This usually occurs where the family/deputy are of the view that the home environment will be a better long-term residence.

Legal Support for Clients in Care Homes

Our firm develops good relationships with various social services and care homes so that we can help our clients to negotiate bespoke care packages in placements where their loved one’s needs will be met.

We use our expertise in equity release law to provide independent legal advice on equity release products that have been offered to our clients who prefer to release equity for elderly home adaptations so that they can be cared for in their own homes.

Types of Court of Protection Deputyships

There are only two types of court of protection deputyships:

 

  1. Property and Financial Affairs Deputies
    a. Paying for nursing and residential care expenses, utility and other bills
    b. Managing the relevant person’s income and budgeting for expenditure appropriately
    c. Applying for and accessing state benefits on behalf of the relevant person
    d. Dealing with any monies including cash assets of the relevant person e.g. funds in bank and building society accounts
  2. Health and Welfare Deputies
    a. Personal Welfare Deputies are useful for persons who have a progressive illness or profound learning difficulties
    b. They tend to play a role in older patients with geriatric care needs or mental health needs
    c. Applications for personal deputies are also usual for a vulnerable person’s future care
    d. And persons at risk of abuse or serious harm if left in the care of the family tend to have a Welfare Deputy appointed to them who may or may not be a family member.

 

Personal Welfare Deputies make decisions on a number of matters including:

  • Decisions on who may have contact with a vulnerable person
  • Decisions on where the vulnerable person should live
  • Decisions about Managing the relevant person’s care needs
  • Decisions about consent to medical treatment
  • Decisions on whether a vulnerable person has the capacity enter into a marriage or have sexual relations

Common Scenarios in Mental Capacity Legal Services

1. Disputes among Family Members

Family members may disagree on what is best for a loved one who has lost mental capacity.
When this happens many families often try to resolve this without involving third parties.

We can help with negotiated resolutions of disagreements.

Sometimes there are fundamental differences that come from strongly held views of what each person thinks is the best for their loved one.
Where an agreement is not reached, an application to the Court of Protection may become necessary.

If we have to proceed to court, we take full instructions and provide legal advice that includes informing you of the legal strengths and weaknesses of your case.
We will always provide our legal opinion on your prospects of success in straightforward language.

We will then pursue your objectives and the outcome that you wish to achieve at the Court of Protection.

Our solicitors know that this can be a stressful process.

This is why we do our best to manage the process in a manner that enables our clients to focus on their other responsibilities – including work, social and family life.

2. Disputes between Family Members and Care Homes/Local Authorities or Hospitals

Deprivation of Liberty Applications & Mental Health Tribunal Applications have been a part of our solicitors’ practice since 2005.

Your relative who lacks mental capacity may be detained in a care home or hospital against their wishes and this can be under the Mental Health Act or under the Mental Capacity Act.

When any person is detained without their consent under powers provided in law under the Mental Capacity Act: this is a “Deprivation of Liberty”.

If the detention is under a Mental Health Act Section 2, 3, or any other Section, the person is said to have been “Sectioned”.

In either case our solicitors will submit an urgent application to the Court of Protection or to the First Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) depending on the law that the relevant care home or hospital has relied upon.

We make applications against Urgent Authorization Decisions of a Care Homes.

If you feel that someone is being deprived of their liberty or sectioned and you wish to challenge the detention, contact our team of for urgent legal support.

Deprivation of Liberty Applications & Mental Health Tribunal Applications have been a part of our solicitors’ practice since 2005.

Your relative who lacks mental capacity may be detained in a care home or hospital against their wishes and this can be under the Mental Health Act or under the Mental Capacity Act.

When any person is detained without their consent under powers provided in law under the Mental Capacity Act: this is a “Deprivation of Liberty”.

If the detention is under a Mental Health Act Section 2, 3, or any other Section, the person is said to have been “Sectioned”.

In either case our solicitors will submit an urgent application to the Court of Protection or to the First Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) depending on the law that the relevant care home or hospital has relied upon.

We make applications against Urgent Authorization Decisions of a Care Homes.

If you feel that someone is being deprived of their liberty or sectioned and you wish to challenge the detention, contact our team of for urgent legal support.

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COMPLIANTS:

Our aim is to deliver quality services that you will be happy with.

If unfortunately, after efforts our effort to do our best we have not got this right, a complaint about our service can be raised, in the first with the lawyer that handled your matter and provided our service to you. All our staff are trained to appreciate that client satisfaction comes first and your lawyer will do his or her best to listen to you, provide an explanation and carry out any remedial actions that you require so that you may become satisfied with our service.

If after the above initial stage you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint you may complain to our Mr Obinna Baranta who is our firm’s complaint manager - by writing to our London address of 51 Fellows Road, London NW3 3DX.

Mr Baranta will do his best to resolve the matter to your satisfaction by reviewing the service we provided to you in a manner that satisfies you.

Mr Baranta will first write to you within 7 working days of hearing from you to acknowledge receipt of your complaint and he will aim to send you a substantive reply to your complaint within 14 working days.

Mr Baranta will investigate your complaint by speaking to the person involved and may telephone you to get more details about our service to you.

If you do not feel comfortable about complaining to Mr Baranta about our service to you because he handled your matter, you may write to Mr Kenny Ogba who has been in practice for over 7 years and who will assist the firm by investigating your complaint with intention of finding a resolution that satisfies you.

If after looking into your complaint and responding to you, you are still not satisfied by our responses you may further complain to the Legal Ombudsman whose address for complaints is PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV19WJ.