A Deputyship Order is a legal document which enables elected representatives to make important financial and welfare decisions on behalf of a person who has lost the capacity to handle their own affairs (ie. As a result of dementia, a brain injury or severe learning disabilities). A Deputyship Order is needed when the individual concerned does not have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) already in place.
You can apply to become either a Property and Financial Affairs Deputy, a Personal Welfare Deputy or both. A Property and Financial Affairs Deputy will look after a person’s financial and physical assets, for example their rent or mortgage payments, bills, investments or pensions, while a Personal Welfare Deputyship Order relates to the management of important care or medical decisions. If you become a Deputy you are also required to submit annual reports to the Office of the Public Guardian explaining the decisions you have made on the concerned individual’s behalf.
If you are over the age of 18 you can apply to become a Deputy for a loved one, however it is important to bear in mind that there may be some occasions where the application for Deputyship may be denied if the Court deems that your own personal circumstances will compromise your ability to adequately manage the affairs of the individual concerned (for example, if you have reduced mental capacity or are bankrupt).
You need to make an application to the Court of Protection if you are seeking to obtain a Deputyship Order; the process involves a considerable amount of paperwork, however you can appoint a lawyer to carry out the application for you. A lawyer will also be able to provide important legal advice and answer any questions you may have about the process.
Applying for a Deputyship Order can be considerably more expensive than arranging a Lasting Power of Attorney, with higher initial set-up fees and ongoing annual charges throughout the course of the Deputyship. The process can also add distress and difficulty to an already challenging period.
For further information on setting up a Deputyship Order or a Lasting Power of Attorney please feel free to get in touch with our Private Wealth & Succession Planning specialist, Hardeep Nijher at firstname.lastname@example.org.