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Written on 31st January 2023 by Ewelina Wolanin

Becoming involved in Court of Protection proceedings for the first time can be very daunting. Ewelina Wolanin, Paralegal, explains the meaning and significance of some of the most used terms.

Court of Protection – a specialist court dealing with two aspects of decision-making on a person’s behalf: property and affairs, and health and welfare. Decisions in these areas can be made by the court under the jurisdiction of the Mental Capacity Act, but only made when an individual lacks the mental capacity to make the decision for themselves.

Court Funds Office – holds funds that have been paid into the court. It can hold funds on behalf of children and those who lack mental capacity, for example funds that have been obtained as a result of civil litigation involving individuals who have sustained an injury in an accident or as a result of medical negligence. Property and affairs deputies can pay funds into CFO accounts for safe keeping and withdraw them when they are required to meet their client’s needs.

Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”) – the administrative body supporting the Court of Protection. It holds a register of all Deputies and those holding Lasting Powers of Attorney and supervises the exercise of their authority. Every year a deputy must report to the OPG as to how they have spent their client’s money and what decisions they have made on their behalf and the OPG may raise queries. In the case of any concerns arising about the deputy’s conduct, the OPG can make an application to the Court to end the Deputyship.

Statutory Will – a will made for an individual who lacks the mental capacity to make one for themselves. This has to be approved by the Court of Protection and can then be executed on the person’s behalf by a third party, such as their deputy.

Power of Attorney – enables a chosen person (or multiple people) to make financial and/or health and welfare decisions for an individual. The donor of the Power of Attorney must have capacity to understand a power of attorney and its effect when they enter into it.

Personal Injury Trust – is a legal relationship where assets from a compensation for a personal injury claim are put under control of at least two individuals (trustees) for the benefit of the person the trust was created for (beneficiary). These funds are excluded from means testing for state benefit.

Security (or Surety) Bonds – a form of insurance policy protecting an individual lacking capacity from a financial loss caused by a deputy’s failure to carry out his or her duties. Each deputy must have a security bond in place and when they are appointed the court will specify the amount of the bond required.

At Boyes Turner we have experience in all types of proceedings in the Court of Protection. For further information, please contact the Court of Protection team on 0800 124 4845 or email claimsadvice@boyesturner.com