Jenny Murphy, Partner leads the specialist Court of Protection team at Coole Bevis LLP, assisted by Teresa Pender-Stratford assistant head of the team, which is dedicated to this type of work. Jenny is also one of just 62 of the Office of the Public Guardian’s accredited Panel Deputies.
What is the Court of Protection and why would l need them?
If you lack mental capacity to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), it will be necessary for someone to make an application to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputy to manage your financial affairs.
It is always advisable to ensure your affairs are in order and to have an LPA in place whilst you retain mental capacity. This will give you control, allowing you to decide who you wish to act for you and what decisions they should be able to make on your behalf.
What is the role of a Deputy?
Typically a Deputy will be authorised to operate bank and savings accounts; to collect pensions and other benefits to which you may be entitled and to pay debts and liabilities on your behalf.
A Deputy will often be authorised to make financial provision for someone whom you ordinarily provided for financially whilst you were well.
What powers do the Court have?
The Court will have supervisory powers from the outset. Your Deputy will be required to file annual accounts with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG supervise all Deputies. It may be necessary for further applications to be made to the Court to obtain additional powers to deal with matters on your behalf, such as if the sale of your property becomes necessary in the future, if this was not authorised in the original Order. If the Court feels that the person who applies to be your Deputy is not suitable for the role, the Court may decide to appoint a Panel Deputy from the list of court-approved professional Deputies.