How can I make decisions for someone who has lost capacity?
If your loved one has lost the mental capacity to manage their finances, you can apply to the Court to become their Deputy.
A person may lack mental capacity, for example, because of a brain injury, stroke, an illness such as dementia or if they have a learning disability. As a deputy, the Court will grant you the authority to make financial decisions on their behalf.
We offer fixed fees for deputyship applications and can help:
- assess whether the person lacks capacity and if a Court application is necessary;
- work with you to prepare the deputyship application;
- instruct a medical professional to prepare the required capacity report; and
- guide you through the Court process.
Once you are appointed as deputy, we can also help you understand your new role and prepare an action plan.
Timbrell Law Solicitors are experts in issues of mental capacity and deputyship applications. If you would like any further assistance, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We offer free initial consultations for all matters to help you decide how to proceed. We are available on 01242 420744, or you can use our contact form to arrange a free callback at a time to suit you.
Frequently Asked Questions - Deputyship Applications
To apply to be a deputy, you need to complete a court application and obtain a medical capacity report confirming the loss of mental capacity. The paperwork is very detailed and can take a long time to complete.
If you decide not to seek professional advice, you must be confident about the order you are asking the Court to make and what decisions you may need to make in the future. The Court will not grant you more powers than you have requested.
Anyone who is over the age of 18 can apply to the Court to be a deputy for a person who lacks capacity. The Court will look at the suitability of each proposed deputy and make the final decision on who to appoint.
Ideally, the deputyship application should be made by someone who knows the person who has lost mental capacity well, understands their wishes and can involve them as much as possible in making decisions — for example, a family member or close friend.
Ultimately the Court will decide which powers you are granted as a deputy and set these out in the court order. Typically, you will be able to pay the person’s bills, manage their bank account and savings and collect their pension and other benefits.
If you are acting as a deputy, you must not exceed the authority set out in the court order. For example, you will generally need additional authority to make a loan on behalf of a person who lacks capacity, to make large gifts or use the person’s funds to support another.
The Court of Protection deals with the affairs of people who have lost mental capacity. The Court helps in two ways either by making decisions itself on the individual’s behalf or by granting another person (i.e. a deputy) the authority to do so.
45% of the applications received by the Court every year are for the appointment of a Property and Financial Affairs Deputy.
Home visits are available in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury, Cirencester and the surrounding villages. Evening and weekend appointments are also available on request.
If you live further afield, we would still be happy to help. Please get in touch today for our online services.
Still Looking For More Information?
For further information about caring for someone who has lost or is losing mental capacity, why not read our blog posts for additional helpful insights.