A Deputy is a person appointed to look after someone’s affairs who has lost capacity.
What is a Deputy?
A Deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to look after the affairs of someone who has already lost capacity.
Is a Deputy the same as an LPA?
A Deputy appointment is made after someone has lost capacity, and by definition without them having previously made an LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) or EPA (Enduring Power of Attorney) whilst they were fit and well.
What is the difference between a Deputy and an LPA?
An LPA is made by the ‘appointer’ when they are mentally fit and well. A Deputy appointment is made by the Court of Protection on behalf of the person who no longer has capacity (to make an LPA).
Why have an LPA?
If you have appointed Powers of Attorney when you were fit and well, it should never be necessary for your family to apply to become Deputy. The process for becoming an LPA is quicker, easier, and cheaper than becoming a Deputy.
What types of Deputy are there?
Like a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), there are also two types of Deputy appointments:-
- Property & Financial Affairs – giving access to the ‘patients’ money to pay bills, organise pensions, and so on
- Personal Welfare – to make decisions in relation to care and medical treatment
How do I apply to become a Deputy?
At the time of writing, the paper application is completed with the following forms:-
- COP1 – application form
- COP3 – assessment of capacity
- COP4 – Deputy declaration
- COP1B – supporting information
Where do I send a Deputyship application?
At the time of writing, paper applications should be sent to:-
Court of Protection
PO Box 70185
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn
London WC1A 9JA
The application can however also be made online.
Who can apply to be a Deputy?
Deputies will usually be a close relative. You will be over 18, of sound mind, and be able to demonstrate that you are an appropriate person to be dealing with the persons finances.
Instead of a family member, the Court of Protection can appointment a ‘paid’ Deputy – eg a solicitor, accountant, or member of the local authority.
What is a Panel Deputy?
The Court of Protection has a register of specialist ‘panel deputies’ whom they may appoint from specialist law firms or charities where nobody else is available to act.
Can there be more than 2 Deputies?
Yes, the Court of Protection can (and often do) appoint 2 or more deputies.
Joint Deputy or Joint & Several Deputy?
Where there are 2 or more appointed deputies, the appointment will be either:-
- JOINT – meaning all decisions must be taken together; or
- JOINT & SEVERAL – meaning decisions can be taken either together or separately
Is there a Court Hearing for a Deputy?
No, not unless there are queries or concerns which the Court of Protection wish to explore further.
How much does a Deputy application cost?
At the time of writing, the fees are:-
- Application fee – £371
- Court hearing – £494 (*only if a hearing is needed)
- New Deputy fee – £100 (only if you have never acted as a Deputy before)
A Deputy is usually a close family member, but can be a professional (eg solicitor).
Annual Deputy fees?
Annual fees are payable to be ‘supervised’ by the Court of Protection. The fee is dependent upon the value of the persons assets. At the moment, the annual supervision fee is generally:-
- £320 – general supervision
- £35 – minimal supervision (where assets are less than £21,000)
What is a Deputy Security Bond?
This is a form of insurance where you are appointed as a finance deputy. The Court decides if one is needed, and the value of the persons assets will generally dictate the amount of the bond fee. It can be paid from the persons own finances, or by you (and then refunded to you once you have access to the persons banking).
Do I need a Solicitor to apply to become a Deputy?
No – you can apply to the Court of Protection as a ‘lay’ person. But, it is a formal Court application, with lots to be done. If you use a specialist solicitor to deal with the application for you it will take away all of the worry and all of the ‘leg work’. The solicitors fees would ordinarily fall to be paid by the person needing the deputy (not you personally as the appointed deputy).
What are the responsibilities of a Deputy?
As a deputy, you must:-
- Act in the persons best interests
- Be mindful of what they would have done themselves when making decisions of their own
- Get help if needed – eg legal or accounting
- Keep annual accounts and a Deputy Report
What is a Deputy Report?
A deputy is obliged to submit a ‘report’ to the Court each year explaining what decisions have been made and why. This can be done by paper or online.
There are different forms for either of the two types of deputy appointments, and also dependant upon whether you are a family member or professional deputy.
Deputy – should I keep my own money separate?
Yes – most definitely! You should keep accurate accounts of all money spent and received on behalf of the person. And, you should NOT merge their money and yours.
Is a Deputy appointment Limited?
Yes – the Court Order will set out what you can and cannot do.
Where you need to do something not included in the Order (eg sell a house), there is an application process to get the Court’s express permission to undertake whatever is needed.
Can I stop being a Deputy?
You may not wish to remain as a deputy, or may no longer be necessary (eg if the person regains mental capacity).
Either way, there is a simple application process to be removed as a deputy. However, you MUST obtain the Court Order removing you as deputy before stopping acting.
Need more help with becoming a Deputy?
If you need help with becoming a Deputy – do reach out to our expert team of solicitors. You can reach us at deputy@QLAW.co.uk, or call us on 03300 020 365