We are often asked, ‘How do I become a Deputy?’ Here is our brief legal guide to deputyship
What is a Deputy?
If a person loses mental capacity and does not have a Power of Attorney in place, it may be necessary to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. There are two types of deputy:
- Property and Financial Affairs Deputy: This gives you authority to manage someone’s financial affairs on their behalf. It includes paying their bills, organising their pensions and even taking advice in respect of investments.
- Personal Welfare Deputy: This gives you authority to make decisions about someone’s care, residence and medical treatment. However, a court will only appoint a personal welfare deputy in limited scenarios.
Who can become a Deputy?
You can apply to be appointed as a Deputy if you are 18 years or over. A Deputy is usually a close relative or friend of the person who needs help in making decisions.
The court can appoint more than one Deputy for the same person.
It is possible for a professional to act as a Deputy. For example, an accountant, a solicitor or an employee of a Local Authority can act as a Deputy. The Court of Protection can also appoint a specialist Deputy, called a panel Deputy, from a list of approved law firms and charities if there is no one else available to act.
What are my responsibilities as a Deputy?
If you are appointed as a Deputy then you will have many legal responsibilities. These include following the principles enshrined within the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and ensuring that you act in the best interests of the protected party. If you are managing someone’s property and financial affairs, you must keep records of the finances you manage on their behalf.
Are Deputies supervised?
Yes. A Deputy must provide an annual report to the Office of the Public Guardian. This will detail decisions made during the year and any financial transactions carried out. In contrast, Attorneys appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney do not have any reporting duties.
How we can help you to become a Deputy
If you need assistance in applying to be a Deputy yourself or you are interested in a professional deputy being appointed, then please contact our Court of Protection team on 0333 888 0404 or send an email to us at [email protected]