The Court of Protection makes decisions on financial and welfare matters for the most vulnerable members of our society, those who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions. It can also give the power to make these decisions to someone else if there is a need for decisions to be made on an ongoing basis, this person will be known as a Deputy.
Often the first time you will come into contact with the court is when you need to make an application to the court to become a Deputy for a family member who lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves where there is no Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place.
If you do need to apply to the court to become a Deputy there are fees payable. The initial fees were reduced on 22nd July 2019 but are still substantial:
- Applying to start proceedings or for permission to start proceedings - £365 (reduced from "400)
- Appealing a court decision or seeking permission to do so - £230 (reduced from £400)
- Hearing fee - payable where the court has held a hearing to decide the application and has made a final order, declaration or decision - £485 (reduced from £500)
After you have been appointed as a Deputy there will be on-going fees. There will be an initial assessment fee of £100 if you are a new Deputy. This fee covers the court costs of assessing the level of supervision you need as a Deputy. There is likely to be an annual supervision fee currently £320 and also an annual fee for a security bond for property and financial affairs Deputies. A security bond is a type of insurance which protects the finances of the person you are Deputy for. The amount payable will depend on the value of the estate of the person you are Deputy for.
We recommend that when making your Will you also consider making property and financial affairs and health and welfare LPA's. This will ensure your family have no need to apply to the court for a Deputyship order, which can be both expensive and time consuming. Making LPA's will allow you to choose who should manage your property and financial affairs and make decisions regarding your health and welfare if you should lose your mental capacity, rather than leaving this decision to your family, not all of who may be in agreement as to who would be the best or most suitable candidate.
If you are interested in finding out more about Wills and LPA's, or would like to make an appointment to arrange them, please contact us on 01603 620508 and ask to speak to the Wills, Trusts and Probate department in the branch most convenient for you (Norwich, Wymondham or Lowestoft). Alternatively, you can email us, or drop into one of our offices in Norwich, Lowestoft or Wymondham, to discuss making an appointment.