Sadly, there are times in people’s lives when they no longer have the mental capacity to deal with their own affairs and require the support of others to act on their behalf. If your loved one requires this type of support, our Court of Protection lawyers at Ashtons Legal can help you through the necessary steps to appoint a property and affairs deputy.

We understand that it can be extremely difficult to witness a loved one lose the capacity to manage on their own. This can be even more traumatic when it is a sudden loss. Our Court of Protection lawyers are here to offer compassionate and pragmatic support to see you through these tough times.

Our expert lawyers at Ashtons can support clients with all associated  matters, such as:

  • Applying for a property and affairs deputyship
  • Court of Protection disputes
  • Acting as a professional deputy for your loved one
  • Statutory Wills
  • Personal injury trusts.

Contact our Court of Protection Solicitors in the East of England, East Anglia and Yorkshire

For personal, practical advice on the Court of Protection, get in touch with your local Ashtons Legal team in Bury St EdmundsCambridgeIpswichLeeds and Norwich.

Alternatively, please fill in our online enquiry form, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

Our Court of Protection Expertise

Applying for a Court of Protection property and affairs deputyship

If someone close to you can no longer deal with their own finances, you have the option to apply to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a deputy on behalf of that person. If the Court decide to approve the application, the Court will appoint a deputy for your loved one who lacks capacity. Essentially, this means that the deputy will be put in charge of their finances and property, making key decisions on their behalf.

Before you apply for deputyship, it’s vital that you understand what the duties and responsibilities of a deputy will be if appointed. Our Court of Protection Team can support you in understanding the role and the processes involved.

Court of Protection disputes

It can be hard to make decisions on another person’s behalf, and often, an individual’s loved ones will all have different opinions about their welfare and best interests. Disputes will often arise between deputies and the vulnerable person’s other family members. In some situations, there could be some disagreement about the individual who has been appointed as deputy and the decisions they are making.

Our solicitors dealing with the Court of Protection have witnessed a wide range of disputes and have the expertise and resources to resolve matters as swiftly as possible.

Acting as a professional deputy for your loved one

Some people who lack capacity do not have a suitable individual to appoint as their deputy, or their family may be unable or unwilling to take on the responsibility. In many

circumstances, while people would like to support a family member, they are apprehensive about managing that person’s finances and being responsible for their healthcare.

At Ashtons Legal, we have a dedicated team who act as appointed deputies for individuals who lack capacity. If you are interested in appointing a professional deputy for a loved one, please contact our Court of Protection lawyers, who can talk you through what is involved and answer your questions.

Statutory Wills

Where a person lacks the capacity to handle their own welfare and finances, it is also likely that they are not able to draft their own Will. If the individual has not yet made a Will or has a Will which needs to be altered, they’ll need a deputy or attorney to draft a statutory Will for them.

If you are acting as deputy and you need to create a Will on your loved one’s behalf, our expert Court of Protection lawyers can guide you through all the necessary legal steps.

Personal injury trusts

If you experienced a personal injury and received compensation as a result, you may no longer be eligible for any means-tested benefits that you receive, for example, Income Support or Job Seekers allowance.

By putting your compensation into a personal injury trust, you may be able to keep on receiving the means-tested benefits that you were previously entitled to.

At Ashtons Legal, we can assist you in creating a personal injury trust or to manage a trust that you already have. To learn more, get in touch with our trust team.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Court of Protection?

The Court of Protection makes decisions about whether certain individuals have the mental capacity to make decisions on their own. If the Court of Protection deems that a person cannot make choices by themselves, the Court has the power to appoint a deputy to make those decisions going forward.

There are two types of deputies, a property and financial affairs deputy and a health and welfare deputy. It is also possible for a deputy to be appointed to manage someone’s property and financial affairs as well as their health and welfare needs, depending on the case.

As well as approving deputyship applications, the Court of Protection can resolve deputyship disputes. Where an individual who lacks capacity has a Lasting Power of Attorney, the Court of Protection can assess decisions that the Attorney makes, ensuring that these decisions are within the person’s best interests.

Our Court of Protection lawyers can answer any further questions that you may have about this Court and the associated processes.

What is a Court of Protection deputy?

A deputy refers to a person who is appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the finances or welfare decisions of another individual who is unable to make those decisions for themselves. To be appointed as a deputy, potential deputies must apply to the Court of Protection via a deputyship application.

A Court of Protection deputy takes on various duties. For instance, they might manage the vulnerable person’s bank accounts, benefits, pay their bills, or make decisions about the person’s medical needs.

Who can become a Court of Protection Deputy?

Any person over the age of 18 years old is permitted to apply to act as a Court of Protection deputy. Most of the time, deputies are relatives or close friends of the person who lacks capacity. Where a suitable deputy cannot be found, or where the incapacitated person has a large estate through an injury award or inheritance, a professional deputy may be appointed, for instance, a solicitor.

If you are looking to appoint a professional deputy for your loved ones, our Court of Protection team at Ashtons can assist you in making a deputyship application.

What decisions can the Court of Protection make?

The Court of Protection can make various decisions to protect vulnerable people, including:

  • The Court can decide if a person can make decisions about their own welfare and finances
  • They can deal with emergency applications where a deputy is required immediately
  • They can make decisions regarding Statutory Wills, or lasting powers of attorney
  • They can appoint deputies to manage the welfare and finances of a vulnerable loved one on a long-term basis
  • The Court can grant a person permission allowing someone to make a one-off decision for a vulnerable person.

If you are concerned about a decision that the Court has made, our Court of Protection lawyers can offer expert legal guidance.

Do I need a solicitor to apply to the Court of Protection?

Whilst it is possible to apply to the Court of Protection without the support of a solicitor, the associated processes can be complicated. Without a solicitor, it can be more difficult to understand the different stages and your responsibilities, as well as to safeguard your interests.

Our Court of Protection lawyers can assist you throughout the entire process. Please get in touch for more information.

How much do solicitors charge for Court of Protection legal support?

How much solicitors charge for Court of Protection legal support will depend on the type of support needed.

In certain scenarios, we will be able to provide our services for a fixed fee. Other cases may be more suitably charged at an hourly rate, and if so, our Court of Protection experts will provide a price estimate early on.

Additionally, there are separate Court of Protection application fees to pay, currently set at £371.

How long does it take to go through the Court of Protection?

How long it can take to go through the Court of Protection is always dependent on the specific case. It is currently taking up to nine months to obtain a financial affairs deputyship, and obtaining a health and welfare deputyship often takes a little longer to process. This is because there are specific health assessments that are required before deputyship is granted.

How do you become a Court of Protection deputy?

To become a deputy for a vulnerable person, you’ll need to apply to the Court of Protection for deputyship. It is important to seek the guidance of a solicitor to assist you with the application process.

Once the Court has processed the deputyship application, you’ll need to inform the person who lacks capacity, and any other interested parties, within a 14-day time frame.

Providing there are no objections, the Court will pass the application on to a Judge or nominated officer, allowing them to review it. If there are objections, your solicitor can inform you of the next stages, supporting you in resolving any disputes.

Finally, the Court will make a decision as to whether or not to appoint a deputy. If you have any questions about the process, our expert deputyship solicitors will be happy to assist you.

Is it possible to change a deputy?

If a person believes that a current deputy is unsuitable, they can apply to the Court of Protection and ask for the deputy to be replaced. Situations like this may occur if, for example, there is some concern that the deputy is not making decisions that are best for the vulnerable person or if a working relationship between a deputy and a client or their family has broken down.

Finding yourself in these circumstances can be difficult, and it’s important that you seek legal support right away. Our Court of Protection lawyers at Ashtons have supported clients in removing deputies in a range of challenging circumstances to protect the interests of their loved one.

Contact our Court of Protection Solicitors in the East of England, East Anglia and Yorkshire

For bespoke and sensitive advice from our lawyers dealing with the Court of Protection, contact our legal team in Bury St EdmundsCambridgeIpswichLeeds and Norwich.

Alternatively, please fill in our online enquiry form, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.


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