Alexander Wright, senior associate – solicitor at Boyes Turner, sheds some light on Court of Protection applications and answers some frequently asked questions.
Is it necessary for me to become a deputy?
Not always. Local Authorities seem to be keen on getting a family member to be a Deputy so care fees will be paid. It is sometimes a good idea, but if your loved one has savings of less than £14,250 and you only need to deal with the benefits, you may be able to just become their “appointee” for benefits. Discuss this directly with the DWP. It is a very easy process.
How do I become a deputy?
An application to the court can be quite straightforward. Download the forms from the government website https://www.gov.uk/become-deputy/overview.
Complete forms COP1, COP1A, COP3 (Part A only), COP4 and COP24. In the COP1 say you want an Order appointing you as Deputy for property and affairs and in the COP24 give a brief summary of your loved one’s circumstances in your own words. Send the COP3 to your loved one’s GP or consultant and ask them to assess their mental capacity. When that has been returned, send everything to the Court of Protection. After that the court will tell you what needs to be done.
Make sure you read the guidance notes on the back of the forms. That’s really important if you’re going to do this yourself.
Do I need a solicitor to do this?
No, but if you’re concerned about getting it right or have limited time we can help you.
Examples on when it’s a good idea to get legal advice include:
- When your loved one is under 16
- When your loved one has a large (more than £200,000) or complicated estate to manage
- When your loved one owns a property with someone else
- When someone might object to you becoming the Deputy
- If you are of advanced years or in ill health yourself
- When your loved one needs a Will but can’t make one themselves
Can I call you just in case?
Yes, call us for a free initial discussion on 0118 952 7219.