Court of Protection 

Applying to be a Deputy

Applying to be a Deputy

If someone lacks mental capacity, this means that they cannot make a decision themselves (“P”). This can cause problems, especially when dealing with property and finances or making decisions about medical treatments. To make a decision for P in these circumstances, a person must apply to the court of protection to become a deputy.


A deputy for health and welfare is usually only appointed if there is doubt about whether someone is making decisions that is not in the best interest of P or someone needs to be appointed to make decisions about specific issues over a period of time. 

How how do you become a deputy?

For the Court of Protection to decide whether to appoint a deputy, they must act in P’s best interests at all times. A deputy must be over the age of 18 years old and are usually close relatives or friends of P. There can be more than one deputy, which means that deputies can either act jointly (they must al agree) or jointly and severally (they can make decisions on their own). An applicant who wants to be a deputy should complete the main application form (COP1) and other forms, such as COP1A or COP1B, COP3 and COP4.


They must also gather any supporting evidence. Permission from the Court of Protection is not usually required when applying to be a deputy for property and finances. However, permission is likely to be required when applying to appoint a personal welfare deputy because it is usually on a specific issue. Within 14 days of the Court of Protection issuing the application, the applicant must serve on the Respondents named in the COP1 a copy of the COP1 and of each document filed and a form for acknowledging service. The applicant must then file with the Court of Protection a certificate of service. 

The applicant must also notify P of the application in person and provide them with a completed notice form and a form for acknowledging service. The applicant must then file with the Court of Protection a certificate of notification.

After the above steps, the Court of Protection usually issues the order appointing a deputy without a hearing, issue written directions without a hearing or set a date for a hearing for directions or disposing of the application. 


What are the responsibilities of a deputy?

A deputy should ensure that any action taken is in P’s best interests, apply a high standard of care and do everything they can to help P understand the decisions being made. These decisions should then be recorded within an annual report. The deputy’s property and finances should be completely separate from P’s and records should be kept of any finances that the deputy manages within the annual report. Please note, a deputy can be fined and/or sent to prison for up to 5 years if they mistreat or neglect P on purpose. 


Next Steps

If you would like to be a deputy for a person who has lost mental capacity, please contact us to arrange a free case analysis.