I act as a Court of Protection deputy for many individuals who need help in managing their financial affairs. It can be a long and confusing process making an application to appoint a deputy and a solicitor or family member needs to complete a large number forms.
There are three key pieces of information the applicant will require:
- Family members the forms require the applicant to complete the details of the Patient’s family including their addresses
- Medical report a particular form needs to be completed by a doctor or social worker confirming to the court of protection that the Patient has lost capacity
- Assets and possessions a full itemised list including bank accounts, property, shares, policies etc needs to be completed.
Once all the forms have been completed they need to be sent to the court of protection whereupon a Judge will consider the request to appoint the deputy. At that stage the application documentation is sent out to family and possibly friends.
What if any of them disagree? For instance, there can be arguments over who should be the court of the protection deputy? Should it be the applicant or another family member? Are there issues over whether the Patient does or does not have capacity?
If there are contentious issues then, at that stage, the Judge is likely to ask for a hearing to take place to decide on the best course of action. It will be for the Judge to decide. The Judge may suggest that the parties mediate to try and find a solution. As a panel deputy of the Court of Protection there are situations where I will be invited to act as Deputy as an independent third party.
The most important thing to remember is that it takes time to complete the forms and have the matter decided. If no hearing is needed it can take at least 8-12 weeks even in situations when a family may wish to take urgent steps.