Protecting Your Loved Ones Through the Court of Protection
Protecting your loved ones is what family is all about. Unfortunately, there are occasions when a loved one loses the capacity to be able to make decisions for themselves, and in these cases, you need to be there to step in and help them out.
There are many reasons why people lose mental capacity, but some of the most common are after severe brain injuries or illnesses like Alzheimer’s. In some instances, people who have suffered injuries or struggle with a disease such as Alzheimer’s no longer have the ability or capacity to make decisions that are in their best interests and in these cases, you can apply to the Court of Protection to become their ‘deputy’ or decision-maker.
Here are some of the essential things you need to know if you think your loved one needs extra protection.
When Should a Deputy Be Appointed?
You should look at having a deputy appointed for your loved one if they’re struggling to make important decisions that need to be made in their daily lives, and they don’t already have a Lasting Power of Attorney.
If you notice your loved one is struggling with things like paying bills and dealing with income, then it might be worth looking at going to the court of protection.
Who Can be Made a Deputy?
Technically, anybody over 18 can be made a deputy; however, it is most likely to be a family member, close friend or solicitor.
An attorney who specialises in the Court of Protection will normally help you to identify a good candidate to become the deputy, someone with a connection to the person in question and the necessary skills to carry out the task.
Different Types of Deputy
The most common type of deputy is a property and affairs deputy. These deputies deal with decisions relating to income and bills, dealing with assets, selling properties and generally managing investment decisions.
Less common are personal welfare deputies. Personal welfare deputies tend to deal with decisions relating to the person’s health and wellbeing.
What Duties Do You Have as a Deputy?
Being a deputy is an important role, and it comes with duties that you have to carry out. The decisions that you make have to be in the person’s best interests, and you also have to take into account what that person would have done when they still had their decision-making capacity.
You have to do everything possible to help your loved one understand the decision you have made, and significant decisions have to be logged in an annual report.
Keeping records of that person’s finances is another important part of being a deputy, and you really have to apply an even higher standard than you would when making your own decisions.
Making a Difficult Time a Little Bit Easier
It can be a very difficult time when a loved one is losing their ability to make important decisions.
It might be a difficult decision to make for you, but you can protect your loved one so much better by going through the Court of Protection. Deputies are there to protect vulnerable people, and they’re available to you if and when you need them.