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Mental Capacity & Deputyship Specialists
The Court of Protection is a specialist court which appoints deputies to look after the financial affairs and welfare of people who are mentally incapacitated.
The deputy may be either:
- A lay deputy – a close relative or friend, or
- A professional deputy – a solicitor with experience of deputyship work.
The deputy makes investment and spending decisions, must always act in the client’s best interests and must keep accounts. The deputy is supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and must file an annual report and accounts with the OPG. Contact the team for a consultation
Did you know?
We can assist with the application to appoint a deputy, advising deputies generally and acting as professional deputy.
Deputyship for the Elderly and clients with a learning disability or mental health problems
We act as deputies for a variety of vulnerable clients who lack capacity, including:
- Elderly clients suffering from memory loss or confusion;
- Clients with a learning disability;
- Clients with mental health problems;
- Clients with addiction problems;
- Clients who are vulnerable to financial abuse.
Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors is ranked for this area of law in the Legal 500 and is very experienced in handling such cases. We welcome instructions from families where a relative is likely to need help in the administration of their affairs and understand the extra sensitivity and communication skills needed when acting for vulnerable clients.
Our Mental Capacity solicitors deal with a range of cases such as:
Why Hodge Jones & Allen?
A personal and sympathetic service
We offer a very personal and sympathetic service – we are a small team and we value our relationships with clients highly.
We provide an efficient service, always responding promptly to any questions and keeping you updated.
We are highly experienced in this specialist area and offer high quality advice and pragmatic and cost effective solutions to difficult problems.
Dementia Case Study
Our client, an elderly widow, suffers from dementia and had been found wandering the local streets unable to find her way home. Her social worker discovered that she had started to invest unwisely following approaches by cold callers and therefore she was vulnerable to financial exploitation. The Local Authority appointed Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors to act as her Deputy, to take over her finances to safeguard her from financial exploitation and to arrange payment for the support she needed. The Deputy continues to manage all of her income, investments and expenditure.
How to appoint a deputy
We explain the process and gather all the information required by the court. We explain how the deputyship will work in practice and the duties of the deputy.
We prepare the application to the Court of Protection. This includes obtaining a report from an expert confirming that the clients lacks sufficient mental capacity to manage their finances.
Once the application has been issued, we serve notices on family members and arrange personal service on the client. Confirmation of service is filed with the court.
We take out insurance to cover the actions of the deputy.
The court then issue the deputyship order.
Frequently asked questions
Mental capacity means being able to make your own decisions. A person may lack capacity due to mental illness, learning disability, acquired brain injury, substance misuse or dementia.
The test for mental capacity is set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Under the Act, a person is presumed to have capacity unless proved otherwise.
The Act sets out a two stage test of capacity:
- Is there an impairment of disturbance in the functioning of the person’s mind or brain?
- If so, is the impairment such that the person lacks capacity to make a particular decision?
A person may have capacity to make some decisions but lack capacity to make others.
To have capacity the person must be able to do all of the following:
- Understand information given to them
- Retain that information.
- Weigh up the information available to make the decision.
- Communicate their decision.
The Court of Protection assists people who lack mental capacity. The court makes decisions for them about their finances and their health and welfare.
This court was set up to safeguard vulnerable adults who lack mental capacity and also children who are likely to lack capacity when they reach the age of 18.
The court decides if a person lacks capacity, appoints deputies and deals with applications to approve certain expenditure such as a property purchase, make payments for care to a family member and set up a will for the incapacitated person.
The court deals with disputes that arise between family members and deputies. The court safeguards the interests of the incapacitated person and protects them from exploitation.
A deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection to act for a person who lacks mental capacity to manage their finances. The role of the deputy is similar to a trustee.
A deputy can be a family member or a professional. The court may appoint a sole deputy or two deputies to act together.
The deputy must always act in the incapacitated person’s best interests. They must take into account the person’s wishes and feelings, and beliefs and values. The deputy must always choose the option which gives the person the most freedom and autonomy.
The deputy has numerous financial duties:
- They must keep the deputyship funds separate from their own personal funds.
- They must keep proper records and accounts.
- They must keep the assets safe and insured.
- They must invest funds so as to achieve the best possible return.
- They must claim all benefits and money due.
- They must budget carefully to ensure that the money lasts for as long as it is needed.
The work of the deputy is supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The deputy has to file annual reports and accounts with the OPG.
View all Frequently Asked Questions.