Deputyship Orders

Our quick read guide covers when a Deputyship order will be required, role of a Deputy and most importantly the application process and costs, so you can make the right decision for your situation.

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The thought of someone close to you potentially losing their mental capacity is daunting, and when it does happen to a loved one, it can be difficult for everyone close to the individual. 

When someone is granted a deputyship order, they are able to make decisions for the person who lacks mental capacity in a way that represents their best interests, helping them retain a quality of life and a level of control over the choices that impact their life. 

What is a deputyship order?

The impact of losing mental capacity includes losing some or all ability to understand information, make informed decisions, and communicate wishes. This means that the individual must rely on someone else to make decisions for them; an authority that can be granted through a deputyship order (if no Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney is in place). 

The deputyship order provides the ‘deputy’ with the right to make decisions on behalf of someone who has lost the capacity to make their own decisions regarding their every-day life and financial affairs.

A deputyship order must be set up by applying to the Court of Protection in England and Wales, a process that our team of friendly and experienced advisors here at Unite Wills can help you with.

Why do you need a Court of Protection deputyship order? 

Whether someone loses mental capacity through dementia, brain injury, severe learning disabilities, or any other illness or condition, they retain every right for decisions to be made in their best interests. Each case is different and the reason behind needing a deputyship order depends on the specific situation. 

A deputyship order allows you to make all sorts of decisions on behalf of the individual if they are unable to do so themselves. This includes everything from every-day issues, such as what they wear or the food they eat, to the more complex financial affairs relating to pensions and tax, for example.

If a deputyship order isn’t in place, there’s a risk that decisions will not be made in the best interests of the individual and it could lead to further distress.

The different types of deputyship order applications

There are two main types of deputyship orders in the UK: 

  • Property and Financial Affairs 
  • Personal Welfare 

The former grants the right to make decisions regarding the individual’s money, businesses, houses, pensions, and so on, while the latter is more focussed on every-day issues such as their day-to-day care and wellbeing. 

How to apply for a deputyship order

To get help with applying for a Court of Protection deputyship order, complete our short contact form and a trained member of our team will be in touch at a time that best suits you. 

Here at Unite Wills, we will: 

  • Work with you to ensure that you apply for the right type of deputyship order
  • Help complete all of the legally required paperwork
  • Liaise with all relevant parties

We will always strive to get your deputyship order over the line as efficiently as possible, while maintaining exceptional standards and ensuring that all legalities are covered. 

What does a Court of Protection deputy do?

The powers of a deputy are set out in the Court’s orders and can vary considerably from case to case, depending on the needs of the person in question.

In general terms, deputies are responsible for helping another individual make decisions (or making decisions on their behalf).

There are five statutory principles (as set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005) that must be followed in every case, including the following: 

  • It must be assumed that a person has mental capacity until it is proved otherwise. 
  • All relevant actions must be attempted to help the individual make a decision themselves before someone else does so on their behalf. 
  • Someone wanting to make unwise decisions must not be automatically considered as a person who lacks mental capacity.
  • All decisions made for (or on behalf of) the individual in question must be made with their best interests in mind. 
  • Anything done for (or on behalf of) a person who lacks mental capacity should be the least restrictive on their rights and freedom of action. 

By law, deputies must work within the rules set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Code of Practice that accompanies it. 

Who can apply for a deputyship order?

Anyone over the age of 18 can apply for a deputyship order, but it is often a family member of the individual who lacks mental capacity. It can also be a trained professional, such as a lawyer, depending on the complexity of the case.

People who are bankrupt or subject to a debt relief order must state this on their application, as it is likely to mean that their Property and Financial Affairs application will be rejected. Having your own financial issues will not, however, affect your right to be a Personal Welfare deputy.

Getting a deputyship order: How long does it take?

The timescale to complete a deputyship order application varies significantly between cases, but the typical process lasts for a total of around two to three months on average.

Of course, complications can arise, which may lead to the process taking slightly longer.

Court of Protection fees 

As with most legal procedures, there are inevitable and unavoidable costs. 

Court fees

When applying to the Court of Protection, court fees may apply. These include application fees costing £400 for each deputyship order, and an additional £500 if the court decides it’s necessary for a hearing to take place.

If the court grants you the deputyship order, you might also be charged £100 each in ‘new deputy fees’ and £325 for annual supervision. Following the first year, the annual supervision fee reduces to £35 if you are a Property and Financial Affairs deputy and the person’s estate is worth less than £21,000. 

Property and Financial Affairs deputies can also claim back application fees from the funds of the person they are helping.

Legal fees

Legal fees are applicable for the work undertaken to prepare your Court of Protection deputyship order application, but the amount you’ll pay depends on a variety of factors. 

For more information on the cost of applying for deputyship, get in touch with us today by using the short contact form below.  

Apply for deputyship with Unite Wills

Our team of professional advisors are available to help you with all aspects of your Court of Protection deputyship application, from start to finish.

Begin the process today by completing our short contact form; once you have done so, a member of our team will be in touch at a time that is convenient for you.