Court of Protection

The Court of Protection exists to make decisions on behalf of those people who lack the capacity to do so for themselves. The individual may never have had the capacity or has lost capacity as a result of injury or illness.

Decisions made by the Court of Protection may relate to an individual’s financial affairs, but can also concern their welfare, including in emergency situations where a decision needs to be made on behalf of an individual with diminished capacity as quickly as possible.

The Court decides whether it should safeguard a person’s affairs or appoint an appropriate deputy. At PDA Law, we can support you if you are dealing with the Court of Protection or require guidance about enduring powers of attorney. We can also act as a professional deputy or support you if you are acting as such.

A range of different options are open to the Court; for example, it may rule that the individual concerned still has enough mental capacity to make their own decisions, or it may appoint a deputy to represent them now and in the future.

The Court may also grant someone a one-off right to make the decision, without them receiving full deputyship or powers of attorney; if you are applying for a lasting or enduring power of attorney, the Court can rule on this too.

We can assist with the transfer of property, the administrative affairs of the elderly and vulnerable, and with the application of wills, trusts and gifts. Our team is highly experienced in these and all other matters relating to the Court of Protection and specialises in providing comprehensive and compassionate support when dealing with these affairs.

Objecting to Lasting Powers of Attorney

The Court of Protection is not only there to grant powers of attorney; it is also there as a place for interested parties to raise objections to the registration of new powers of attorney, including by donors and attorneys themselves.

Objections can be based on factual grounds – for example because the donor or attorney has died, or because the attorney also lacks the mental capacity to make reasonable decisions on behalf of the donor.

You may also object if you believe that the donor was already not able to make informed decisions when they agreed to the LPA, due to pre-existing diminished mental capacity.

Objections must usually be made to the Office of the Public Guardian, but may also be referred to the Court of Protection for a ruling, and we can assist whether you are the party raising the objection, or trying to defend a registered LPA against an unwarranted objection.

Deprivation of Liberty

Depriving somebody of their liberty on the grounds that their mental capacity is diminished can be one of the most contentious legal processes, particularly if the individual concerned still has enough capacity to raise an objection.

Deprivation of liberty can involve elderly individuals placed into care homes against their will, or those suffering from an illness who have been placed into hospital; however, it can also involve deprivation of liberty orders that do not relate to a care home or hospital setting.

You can object to the deprivation of an individual’s liberty if you think it is not in their best interests by applying to the Court of Protection to make a ruling on the case. There are several forms to fill in, which we can help you with.

You can also apply to the Court of Protection for authorisation to deprive liberty of an individual who is not in care or in hospital, and again there is an application form and a process to follow, which we can help with.

How PDA Law can help

At PDA Law we have several Court of Protection experts who specialise in wills, probate and private client work, and we are happy to listen to all enquiries about applications to the Court of Protection, as well as any objections you may want to raise to authorisations made by the Court.

If you know somebody who is affected by diminished mental capacity and you want to enact an existing Lasting Power of Attorney or Living Will, we can help to make sure this is done correctly, and reduce the risk of facing any objections later.

This includes more complicated cases where you may need to deprive the individual of their liberty for the sake of their own welfare, and where the individual still has sufficient mental capacity to attempt to object to the Court’s authorisation.

Finally if you know somebody whose welfare you believe is endangered by Court of Protection authorisation – whether through an emergency order, an LPA or some other ruling – we can help you to decide whether you have a good chance of success when filing an objection to the Court.

To make a general enquiry or for more advice about a specific case, call us on on 01244 373 373 or fill out our online contact form for a prompt reply.

Our Court of Protection Experts

Elainne Lawrie

Wills/Probate/Private Client solicitor – Member of the Society for Trusts and Estates Practitioners

E: enquiries@pda-law.com

James Lightfoot

Wills/Probate/Private Client Solicitor

E: enquiries@pda-law.com