What is a Deputy and why appoint one?
Where an individual is not capable of making certain decisions for themselves they are deemed to lack ‘capacity’ in that area. In that case the Court of Protection can appoint a Deputy to make those decisions.
A Deputy is responsible for making those decisions until either the person they are looking after dies, is able to make decisions on their own again, or until someone else takes over as Deputy.
A Deputy has a wide range of legal and moral responsibilities towards the client and therefore, despite not involving the Court each time a decision is made, a Deputy will need to carefully consider all of the available information, as well as follow certain principles, when they act on the client’s behalf.
What types of Deputyship are there?
There are two distinct areas where a Deputy can be appointed to act:
- A person’s property and financial affairs
- Their personal health and welfare
We act as professional deputies under property and affairs and provide advice and guidance on health and welfare matters.
More than one person can be appointed as Deputy for each type. Or one Deputy can be appointed to look after both aspects, although this is not very common.
A health and welfare Deputyship may be required for decisions on the incapacitated person’s behalf which do not justify an application to Court.
These decisions will usually relate to:
- Routine medical treatment
- The administration of medication
- Matters relating to general day to day living
Where a more important welfare decision needs to be made, including issues relating to:
- The contact a client has with family members or friends,
- Where that person may live
- Serious medical treatment or care they may receive
An application will still generally need to be made to the Court seeking an order or declaration.