In cases where you are not able to make decisions for yourself, the Court of Protection will appoint a decision-maker, a Lay Deputy, for you.
What does a Lay Deputy do?
Lay deputies are usually family members or close friends of the person who they are acting on behalf of. If you are appointed as a deputy, you will have key responsibilities in relation to the finance or health and wellbeing of the person you are acting for.
As a lay deputy you will be required to:
- Ensure that any decisions made are in the best interest of the person you are making decisions for.
- Follow the guidance of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice.
- Ensure a high standard of care is applied to decision making – this means considering whether other relatives or professionals should be involved in providing advice/guidance.
- Report and provide accounts to the Office of the Public Guardian.
There are important legal safeguards to protect and support autonomy in decision making.
How do I apply to become a Lay Deputy?
The appointment of a deputy requires an application to the Court of Protection. Whilst this might sound like a daunting task, Price Slater Gawne are equipped and ready to help you in this process.
In making such an appointment, the Court must be satisfied that the person concerned lacks the capacity to make their own decisions. Secondly, the Court of Protection must decide that the proposed deputy (new decision-maker) is suitable to act on the person’s behalf.
One of the biggest considerations in lay deputy applications is resolving questions of capacity. Understanding whether a person is able to make decisions or not is often complex and it is important to avoid making assumptions, in respect of capacity and mental state, based solely on a person’s diagnosis.
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Although the Court can appoint a welfare deputy, this type of appointment is much less common than a financial deputy because the Court has a duty to make decisions that are the least restrictive upon the individual’s rights and freedoms.
For further information or support relating to the Court of Protection or appointing a Deputy, please make an enquiry here or via our live chat service. Alternatively, contact Tom Young on 07507 875558 or Jade Price on 07930 519947 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org