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How long does it take to apply for a Deputyship Order?

View profile for Caroline Johnstone
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Being granted a Deputyship Order can take several months. If you find yourself having to apply to become a Deputy you may also be considering the responsibilities you now face. Caroline Johnstone, Associate Solicitor in our Private Client team, explains more about when you may need to make an application of this nature and the steps involved.

What is a Deputyship Order?

If a loved one loses their mental capacity and can no longer manage their own affairs regarding their property and finances, then someone will need to be appointed to do this for them. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for either their health and care decisions or their financial decisions will mean that they have already chosen an Attorney to step into this role, choosing the person or people that they trust who will act in their best interests. However, if there is no LPA then the Court of Protection would need to appoint a Deputy. 

Applying for a Deputyship Order for property and financial affairs

The process of applying for a Deputyship Order to the Court of Protection usually takes four to six months. There are a number of different documents that need to be submitted which include:

  • Application form - providing details of the proposed Deputy or Deputies, the individual, the type of application etc.
  • Supporting information - providing detailed information about the circumstances and the financial information of the individual.
  • Assessment of capacity – carried out by a registered practitioner (such as a medical practitioner, psychiatrist, approved mental health professional, social worker, psychologist, social worker, nurse or occupational therapist) to support your claim that the person has lost mental capacity and can no longer make financial decisions for themselves.
  • Deputy’s declaration - within this declaration you will need to demonstrate that you are the right person to be appointed as the Deputy for the individual concerned.

Once you have submitted these forms, the Court will aim to issue an order within 4 to 6 months.

There are also costs associated with applying to become a Deputy, which will include a Court application fee of £365 as well as a £100 assessment fee if you are a new Deputy. As a Deputy you will need to be supervised by the Court and there is a general supervision fee of £320. These costs, as well as any solicitor’s costs if you choose to appoint a solicitor to manage the application process, are usually recoverable from the person’s assets, as long as you have permission from the Court to do so.

What am I responsible for as a person’s Deputy?

If you are successful in your application, then you will take on the legal responsibility of managing that person’s affairs in their entirety. 

“A Deputy can be appointed for the individual’s financial decisions and applications can also be made to the Court in respect of their health and care decisions,” explains Caroline. “However, it is important that everyone considers having both LPA’s (property & financial affairs and health & welfare) drafted to avoid their loved ones needing to endure the extra time and financial burden of applying to the Court of Protection. As demonstrated there, there are several steps involved requiring significant information and understanding of the person’s financial position, as well as an understanding of the law and the legal responsibilities placed on Deputies. We would always recommend that you seek initial legal advice if you find yourself in this situation, so that you can understand your role and appreciate the scale of the task ahead of you.”

If you are considering applying to become a Deputy and you are looking for answers from specialist, professional and pragmatic experts, you can call Caroline on 01329 222075 or email carolinejohnstone@warnergoodman.co.uk to book your appointment. Alternatively, you may find the following resources useful.

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.