At Hill and Company, we specialise in putting Deputyship Orders in place. These are complex legal documents that need careful explanation. We have put together this guide to help you understand the purpose of a Deputyship.
What is a Deputyship Order?
A deputyship application allows you to apply to the Court to ask for an Order to make decisions for someone who lacks sufficient mental capacity to make the decisions for themselves. If a power of attorney has not been arranged before an individual loses the ability to make decisions for themselves, no one is able to make decisions on behalf of that person without first putting a Deputyship Order in place.
Who would need to have a Deputy?
An individual who does not have an appointed power of attorney and has an insufficient mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.
This can include people who have:
- A serious brain injury or illness
- A diagnosis of dementia
- A severe learning disability
What types of Deputyship are there?
There are two types of deputyship orders.
- Property and Financial Affairs Deputyship – Gives responsibility for dealing with a person’s property, for example, keeping the property repaired, and selling property often required to pay for care home fees, and managing an individual’s financial affairs by paying bills, checking welfare benefit entitlements.
- Personal Welfare Deputyship – Gives responsibility for making decisions about medical treatment and how someone is cared for.
What would I have to do as a Deputy?
As a Deputy, you would be responsible for helping an individual to make decisions for themselves or where they are unable to make decisions, make them on their behalf A person’s mental capacity must always be considered before any decisions are made for them.
Any decision made must be:
- In the other persons best interests.
- Applied with a high standard of care – this could mean involving other people in decision making which could be experienced professionals such as doctors and financial advisers as well as other relatives.
- A person’s own wishes and feelings must also be considered, would they be happy with the decisions being made for them?
Deputies must also keep a detailed record of all transactions made so that an annual report can be completed and sent to the Court.
Who can be a Deputy?
Anyone who is over the age of 18 can apply to be a deputy providing they meet the Courts criteria for financial management. Deputies are usually close relatives or friends of the person who is no longer able to make their own decisions. It is also not unusual to appoint a professional Deputyship such as a Solicitor to act.
How do I become a Deputy?
We always recommend using a qualified solicitor when making an application for Deputyship.
As legal experts, Hill and Company Solicitors professional team are able to talk you through the complexities of these applications, to ensure success, in a confident and reassuring way whilst easing the pressure so many families face in arranging their loved one’s affairs.
If you would like to discuss becoming a deputy for a friend or loved one, book an appointment with our friendly, expert team. We will be able to guide you through the process and provide you with the advice and support that you need.