A gavel is one of the symbols of court proceedings, like the Court of Protection.
Q: What is the Court of Protection? 
A: The Court of Protection (COP) makes decisions about the finances and welfare of people who can’t make decisions for themselves, either permanently or temporarily. 
The Court of Protection can: 
decide whether someone has mental capacity to make a decision 
appoint deputies to make ongoing decisions 
give people permission to make one-off decisions 
handle urgent or emergency applications 
consider applications to make statutory wills or gifts 
make decisions about detaining someone under the Mental Capacity Act. 
Q: What does the COP consider? 
A: The COP will first assess someone’s mental capacity; usually referred to as ‘the patient’ in court. If the COP confirms a patient lacks mental capacity it will decide whether to issue a court order
Q: What is a deputy? 
A: A deputy is someone appointed by the COP to deal with the affairs of a patient. Usually, deputies make decisions about your property and affairs if you haven’t already made arrangements. They can also look after your personal welfare. 
Q: What can a deputy do? 
A: A property and financial affairs deputy takes full control of your financial affairs. This might involve paying debts, applying for benefits or even selling your home to pay for care fees. A personal welfare deputy will make decisions about care and medical treatment. 
Q: Can I apply to be a deputy? 
A: Yes you can apply to become a deputy. The COP considers whether it’s in someone’s best interests and if you’re fit for the role. The COP usually retains some supervision. You can also apply for ‘one-off’ decisions, but this is often complex and should involve anyone who’s affected. 
Q: What are a deputy’s responsibilities? 
A: You will help someone to make decisions or make decisions on their behalf. You can’t assume that their mental capacity is always the same, as things can change. The COP order will tell you what you can and can’t do. There’s guidance on how to be a deputy on the government’s website.. 
Q: Do I have to report to the COP? 
A: Yes. As a property and financial affairs deputy, you must complete annual accounts. These must include details of the decisions you have made, so it’s important to record everything you do carefully. 
Q: When does a deputyship order end? 
If you can’t act as someone’s deputy anymore another COP application is needed to appoint a new deputy. Otherwise, an order ends either on the death of the patient or if they regain capacity. 
Q: Can I receive payment for acting as deputy? 
A: No. Only a professional deputy is paid for dealing with financial affairs under a deputyship order. However, you can receive reasonable expenses. 
Q: What are the COP costs? 
A: There is a £371 application fee. If you apply to become both a property and financial affairs deputy and a personal welfare deputy you will pay the fee twice. If there needs to be a hearing you will also pay a further £494 fee. If you appeal the Court’s decision there’s a £234 fee. If you’re a new deputy there is also a £100 assessment fee, paid to the Office of the Public Guardian. In addition, there’s an annual supervision fee ranging from £35 to £320, depending on how much support is needed. 
Q: Is there an alternative to the COP? 
A: Yes. By putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) you can confirm your wishes about your finances, property and welfare while you have mental capacity. You can choose who you would like to act as your attorney, in the event you lose capacity. Your family and friends know your wishes and can act on your behalf without having to go to the COP. 
If you would like more information about LPAs, please get in touch. 
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