Court of Protection

When a person no longer has the capacity to make decisions themselves and there is is no Lasting Power of Attorney in place, the Court of Protection can help.

The Court of Protection (COP) is a specialist court created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to make decisions on behalf of those who are unable to make a decision themselves and thus, lack capacity. These decisions relate to the property and affairs, and healthcare and personal welfare of those who lack capacity.

Sometimes things happen, for example a stroke causing paralysis or a debilitating illness, such as dementia and a Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be created as that person no longer has the capacity to do so. This is where The Court of Protection can help.

An additional role of the Court of Protection is its ability to appoint another person, a Deputy, to act on behalf of those who lack capacity. A Deputy manages the affairs of someone who has lost capacity where they have not planned ahead by making a Lasting Power of Attorney (or an Enduring Power of Attorney before 1/10/07), There are two types of Deputy, one for Property and Affairs and one for Health and Welfare.

Who decides if someone lacks capacity?

The law says everyone should be regarded as able to make their own decisions until it is shown that they cannot. Whether you are able to make a particular decision will be established when that decision needs to be made, as mental capacity is ‘decision-specific’.

Ultimately, it is the Court who decides, but no-one can assume you lack capacity because of:

     How old you are

     How you look

     How you behave

And no-one can assume you cannot make the decision yourself just because you have a disability

How JC Solicitors can help

You might want to:

     Ask the court to make a decision about someone’s property
     and financial affairs or their health and welfare

     Apply to be made a Deputy for someone who lacks capacity

     Make a Will on behalf of someone who lacks capacity

     Object to the registration of a Lasting Power of Attorney

The initial stage of the application is to understand whether permission is needed from the Court in order to make the application. Generally, permission will not usually be needed when the application relates to property and affairs. However, permission will need to be obtained where the application relates to personal welfare.

JC Solicitors will be able to assist you in making the correct application depending on the circumstances of your case.

How much will legal assistance with Court of Protection cost?

If you are looking for advice or assistance with regard to Court of Protection issues, we offer a free 30-minute initial consultation with no obligation. During this meeting we will discuss our service and wherever possible, we will offer a fixed fee so that you know exactly what your costs will be from the outset. Our standard fee is £850 + VAT, plus court hearing costs.

Click here to arrange your free 30-minute consultation, or call our Alton office on 01420 544273 or our Chichester office on 01243 850860.