What is Deputyship?
Deputyship is an application to become someone’s deputy if they lack mental capacity and cannot make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made. The deputy can then make the decisions on their behalf.
People may lack mental capacity because:
They’ve had a serious brain injury or illness
They have dementia
There are 2 types of deputy: Property and Financial Affairs (paying bills, organising a pension) and Personal Welfare (making decisions about medical treatment and how someone is looked after)
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
If you want to become a personal welfare deputy you need to get permission to apply
When there’s more than one Deputy
The court will tell you how to make decisions if you’re not the only deputy. It will be either:
- Together (usually called ‘jointly’), which means all the deputies have to agree on the decision
- Separately or together (usually called ‘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
- Representatives of the Local Authority
As a deputy, you’re responsible for
- Helping someone make decisions or making decisions on their behalf
- You must consider someone’s level of mental capacity every time you make a decision for them – you can’t assume it’s the same at all times and for all kinds of things
Guidance for all Deputies
When you’re making a decision, you must:
- Make sure it’s in the other person’s best interests
- Consider what they’ve done in the past
- Apply a high standard of care – this might mean involving other people, eg getting advice from relatives and professionals like doctors
- Do everything you can to help the other person understand the decision, eg explain what’s going to happen with the help of pictures or sign language
Property and affairs Deputies
You must make sure:
- Your own property and money is separate from the other person’s
- You keep records of the finances you manage on their behalf
Please note that in respect of an application for a Deputyship in the Court of Protection, if the Deputyship application is simple, there is a fixed fee of £850.00 plus VAT i.e. £1,020 and there would be a court fee which has to be paid of £385.00.
If the application is complex, we charge on an hourly rate. This is something which would be discussed on an initial enquiry.
Please note that a Deputyship application is necessary where an individual has lost capacity.
It can be significantly cheaper to obtain a Lasting Power of Attorney but this can only be done when an individual has capacity. Therefore it will save legal costs if a Lasting Power of Attorney is arranged rather than running the risk that an individual loses capacity in which case a Lasting Power of Attorney cannot then be done and the extra costs of a Deputyship application are then incurred.