Court of Protection

Many of us will become carers at some point in our lives. Whether you are caring for a parent in their old age, an adult child who has a disability, or a friend who has been diagnosed with an illness, their happiness and dignity will be your greatest priority.

The Court of Protection exists to protect vulnerable people and their loved ones. Our Court of Protection solicitors specialise in helping people navigate the complex Court of Protection processes so they can focus on what’s most important – their loved one.

Need advice about the Court of Protection? Contact our solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley

Contact our friendly, expert Court of Protection solicitors for all the advice you need about the Court of Protection.

We have local offices across Sheffield on Attercliffe Road and in Gleadless and Hillsborough, plus an office in Barnsley.

Give us a call at your nearest branch or fill in our online enquiry form, and we’ll give you a call back as soon as possible.

Helping you care for your vulnerable loved ones

Sometimes, a person needs care because they’ve lost the ability to make their own decisions. Decisions drive our lives, from the smallest decision about what to have for breakfast to big decisions about whether to buy a house. But there are many reasons why someone may be unable to make their own decisions, such as:

  • Dementia or some other illness that affects the brain
  • A condition such as a stroke
  • A brain injury
  • Unconsciousness (such as a temporary coma from a head injury)
  • A learning disability
  • A severe mental health condition

People who cannot make their own decisions are said to lack ‘mental capacity’.

It can be difficult to support someone who lacks mental capacity because GP surgeries, hospitals, banks, pension providers, utility companies, and other organisations you need to deal with on your loved one’s behalf will have strict rules about who they can and can’t give information to.

For example, a bank won’t usually let you access someone’s bank accounts to do things like pay bills unless you have legal permission (such as a Lasting Power of Attorney signed by your loved one when they still had mental capacity).

This is the case even if you are the spouse, civil partner or long term partner of the person who needs support.

The Court of Protection exists to resolve these problems, and this is where our Court of Protection solicitors can help.

What is the Court of Protection?

The Court of Protection is a specialist court that was set up to make decisions about and for people who lack mental capacity.

The Court has many powers, including to assess whether a person has mental capacity and to authorise people to make decisions on behalf of people who lack mental capacity.

What our Court of Protection solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley can do for you

We can help you obtain the tools you need to provide your loved one with the best possible care and ensure that they are safe and protected.

Our service includes helping you apply to the Court of Protection to become a deputy – a person who is legally authorised to make decisions for someone who lacks mental capacity.

To become a deputy, you need the Court to grant you a Deputyship Order. The application process is quite long and complex, so having legal advice and support is crucial. We can:

  • Provide advice about the application process – what it entails, whether it’s right for you and your loved one, and any issues you might encounter
  • Help you complete and file the application forms, including liaising with medical professionals about conducting a mental capacity assessment
  • Inform the people who need to know about the application, including the person you are applying to be deputy for and three people who know that person
  • Represent you during any hearings

If your Deputyship Order is granted, we can also provide advice about fulfilling your responsibilities as a deputy, including:

  • Advising you on what you can and cannot do as a deputy
  • Doing ongoing mental capacity assessments
  • Assisting you in making decisions for the person who lacks mental capacity
  • Administrative support, including keeping accounts, tracking gifts and expenses, managing bank accounts, paying fees (such as care home fees), and preparing deputy reports

We can also help you with other types of Court of Protection applications, including:

  • Applications to sell jointly owned property
  • Making or changing a Will (Statutory Wills)
  • One-off decisions (for example, if you need to make a decision not covered by your Deputyship Order)
  • Urgent and emergency decisions
  • Deprivation of liberty applications and challenges

What can a Court of Protection deputy do?

There are two types of Court of Protection deputy:

  • Property and financial affairs deputy – manages a person’ finances and can do things like pay bills, manage bank accounts, collect pension payments or benefits, and sell property (other than jointly owned property)
  • Personal welfare deputy – can make decisions about a person’s care, day-to-day routine and medical treatment

You can apply to become either or both type of deputy, depending on your loved one’s needs.

The Court will usually only appoint a personal welfare deputy where it is in the person’s best interests, and specific decisions need to be made (for example, decisions about where the person will live).

How do you apply to become a Court of Protection deputy?

You need to file several forms with the Court of Protection, including:

  • An application form
  • A capacity assessment form which has been completed by a qualified medical professional (without this form, the Court may reject your application)
  • A deputy’s declaration which sets out details about your personal circumstances, finances, and how you plan to make decisions for someone
  • Supporting information about the person’s finances and/or personal welfare (depending on what type of deputy you want to become)

You must inform certain people that you have made an application and file ‘certificates of service’ with the Court to confirm you’ve done this.

You must also pay the necessary Court fees.

The Court of Protection will consider all your forms and may:

  • Accept or reject the application
  • Request further information, such as a report from social services
  • Hold a hearing, for example, if someone objects to your application

We can be by your side throughout this entire process, ensuring that all forms are completed promptly and accurately. We know that this process can be lengthy and quite stressful, so we’ll provide friendly support and a listening ear if you need someone to talk to about it.

Who can be a Court of Protection deputy?

Deputies are usually close friends or relatives of the person who need support.

You need to be over 18-years old and, if you want to become a property and financial affairs deputy, you need the skills to provide the right support.

The Court may decide to appoint more than one deputy. If so, you may need the other deputies’ agreement to make any decisions. We can provide advice about if this is the case and help you navigate the situation.

Sometimes, a professional such as a solicitor can be appointed to be someone’s deputy. This may help if you don’t feel confident or able to take on the role yourself. Please speak to us if you are interested in applying to appoint us a professional deputy for someone you know.

Get in touch with our Court of Protection solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley

Contact our friendly, expert Court of Protection solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley for all the advice you need about the Court of Protection.

We have local offices across Sheffield on Attercliffe Road and in Gleadless and Hillsborough, plus an office in Barnsley.

Give us a call at your nearest branch or fill in our online enquiry form, and we’ll give you a call back as soon as possible.

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Meet the team

Taiba Choudhry - Solicitor - Conveyancing, Wills, Trusts & Probate - Sheffield
Taiba Choudhry
Solicitor
Antony Exley - Probate Executive
Antony Exley
Probate Executive
Yvonne Copley - Will Writer and Probate Assistant - Barnsley
Yvonne Copley
Legal Assistant