Areas of law we cover
You can apply to become someone’s deputy if they ‘lack mental capacity’. This means they cannot make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made. They may still be able to make decisions for themselves at certain times.
People may lack mental capacity because, for example:
- they’ve had a serious brain injury or illness
- they have dementia
- they have severe learning disabilities
As a deputy, you’ll be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf.
Types of deputy
There are 2 types of deputy.
Property and financial affairs deputy
You’ll do things like pay the person’s bills or organise their pension.
Personal welfare deputy
You’ll make decisions about medical treatment and how someone is looked after.
Court of Protection forms
The number of forms to be completed and signed by various parties can be a daunting process. Our expert Court of Protection solicitors would be happy to help you complete these forms, or even submit them on your behalf. The following is a summary of Court of Protection forms that you might need to use when engaging with the Court of Protection.
STAGE 1 – INITIAL APPLICATION TO BECOME A COURT OF PROTECTION DEPUTY
The following forms are required when making an application to the Court of Protection to become a Deputy:
- FORM COP1 – this is the application form to start proceedings to become a Court of Protection Deputy. It must be submitted with a cheque for £400 (if none of the exemptions apply). You will also need to submit some additional information for applications for property and affairs applications (FORM COP1A) or applications for personal welfare applications (FORM COP1B)
- FORM COP3 – this is the assessment of capacity form that needs to be completed by a medical practitioner confirming that the person you are applying to be a Deputy for does not have capacity to make their own decisions.
- FORM COP4 – this is the Deputy declaration, to be completed by the proposed Deputy.
- FORM COP9 – this is an additional form to be completed if the application needs to be placed on the fast track system (for example if the sale/purchase of a property is imminent). This will sometimes be accompanied by FORM COP24which is a witness statement, if further information is required.
STAGE 2 – COURT OF PROTECTION FORMS TO BE SERVED TO RELEVANT PARTIES
Once the application has been sent to the Court, they will respond within 2-3 weeks with a completed COP1 form, bearing the stamp of the Court of Protection. You will then need to tell the affected parties about your application and serve them with the relevant forms:
- To the person you are applying to be a Deputy for (also referred to as “P” or the respondent by the courts); you will need to serve a COP14notice in person – explaining what the deputyship means for them and where they can go for advice. You will also need to give them a copy of the original application (form COP1) and then ask them to complete form COP5 which confirms their consent to the deputyship.
- To anyone else with an interest, named in the application (ie the person’s relatives – also known as persons notified); you must serve a form COP15notice and a COP5 to complete and return to the Court.
STAGE 3 – FORMS TO BE RETURNED TO THE COURT OF PROTECTION
The applicant then needs to send the following forms back to the Court:
- Completed COP5s from all respondents and persons notified
- FORM COP20A confirming that the respondent has been notified.
- FORM COP20B confirming the respondents and persons to be notified have been informed.
Upon receipt of forms COP20A and COP20B the deputyship application will then be considered by the Court.
STAGE 4 – ISSUING THE COURT OF PROTECTION ORDER
When the order is granted, a further form will be sent to the applicant to set up the security bond with Deputy Bond Services (DBS). Once the Court has been informed by DBS that this is in place, they will stamp and send out the final Court of Protection order to the applicant.
A further COP14 form is served to the person you have applied to be Deputy for to inform them the deputyship order had been granted by the Court of Protection.
Now that the deputyship is in place the Deputy can proceed with their duties of managing the property and financial affairs and/or welfare affairs.
STAGE 5 – ANNUAL COMPLETION OF THE OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC GUARDIAN REPORT
Between 6 and 8 weeks before each anniversary of the Deputy appointment, the Office of the Public Guardian will contact the Deputy and ask for the Office of the Public Guardian Report to be completed and returned to them. This report details all decisions made through the year and a record of all income, expenditure and capital.
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