Deputyship guidance - what can a deputy do and how to apply for an order

Here, Boys & Maughan senior solicitor Kathleen Gray, explains what a court-appointed deputy does, why you would seek an order and some of the procedures involved. Kathleen also explains various changes to the application process, which were introduced in February 2023.

What does a court appointed deputy do?
A court appointed deputy can manage a person’s financial matters on their behalf and even sell their main residence if it becomes necessary to do so. There are several aspects to the application process, including a capacity assessment of the person to whom the application relates, completing a deputy declaration and notifying, in advance, at least three people that may have an interest in the person and the application.

Why would a deputyship order be required?
A family member, friend or a solicitor would apply for a deputyship order if a person lacks or loses the ability to manage their personal financial affairs and property, either due to dementia, Alzheimer’s or special needs, and there is not a valid lasting power of attorney (LPA) in place. Deputyship is usually required because a person has not prepared beforehand a lasting power of attorney application, which is a relatively more straightforward process and one solicitors highly recommend. It would save more money and time if an LPA is in place.

How to apply to apply for a deputyship order and legal advice
From February 2023, the Court of Protection introduced an online submission system for property and affairs applications. This application process has drastically reduced the waiting time for an order to be issued and for a deputy or deputies to be appointed. Historically, deputyship applications could take between 6-12 months.

Kathleen Gray recently submitted applications where the orders have been issued within approximately 10-12 weeks, which has assisted people in managing the financial affairs of their loved ones in a timelier manner, as payments of bills, care fees and other sundries are quite often required.

However, these recent changes have also changed the process where an appointed deputy needs to sell a property the person lived in. The Court of Protection now requires evidence as part of the application that a standard authorisation under DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards procedure) is in place. A DoLS is often completed once a person is in residential care.

Deputyship is a detailed procedure, much more so than a lasting power of attorney, and deputies have many standards to comply with, annual financial reviews to submit and insurance bonds to be aware of. These are all aspects of the process Boys & Maughan can guide you through.

If you wish to discuss making a lasting power of attorney or a deputyship application, please do not hesitate to contact our private client team. Time might be of the essence.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.