A Deputyship order is the instrument that brings this arrangement into being. You cannot legally become a Deputy for someone else without a Deputyship order.
Why apply for a Deputyship order?
Applying for a Deputyship order will give you the power to make decisions on behalf of someone who can no longer do this for themselves. These could be decisions relating to financial affairs and property or (more unusually) relating to their health. A Deputyship order is often issued where no Lasting Power of Attorney (or Enduring Power of Attorney) has been put in place – in some ways it acts as a back up. If a power of attorney already exists then a Deputyship order will not be necessary.
Who is the subject of a Deputyship order?
Deputyship orders are often used where an elderly person is no longer able to make the decisions necessary to take care of their own affairs. However, Deputyship orders can be made in a wide variety of circumstances, including for a child with special needs for example or where someone of any age has suffered a stroke and no longer has mental capacity.
How can you apply for a Deputyship order?
The Court of Protection makes Deputyship orders. If you are hoping to become a Deputy then you need to make an application to the Court of Protection. Sometimes decisions as to whether or not to make the order can be very complex and, in those circumstances, legal advice might be required.
What does the Deputyship order do?
The order will make the Deputy legally responsible for the individual in question. Not every order is the same and powers can vary. The order will set out which powers the Deputy will hold for the individual they are assisting. These could be decisions about where that person lives, whether they go into care and how to dispose of property. Some Deputyship orders will also grant powers over decisions such as healthcare and medical treatment. Powers can also include personal welfare, for example where to obtain items such as toiletries and clothes.
How do you apply for a Deputyship order?
The first step is to fill out the necessary forms. A medical report is required from a doctor about the individual to whom you’re going to act as a Deputy and there is also a fee to pay. Most orders are issued at the end of this process but some may require a court hearing.
Is that the end of the legal process?
No, Deputies are supervised by the Court of Protection – the level of supervision necessary is assessed on an individual basis. This could be anything, from a requirement to submit reports and accounts, to visits from the court.
How do you bring a Deputyship order to an end?
The Deputyship order will automatically end if the person it relates to dies or recovers their capacity. Deputyship orders can also be discharged, either via an application from the Deputy, or if the courts believe that the Deputy is not doing their job and should no longer have the authority.