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The Court of Protection is charged with safeguarding the best interests of anyone who does not have the mental capacity to manage their own affairs based on the principles established in the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
It works alongside the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and both these bodies exist to make sure that no-one takes advantage of any individual whose mental capacity is injured or impaired in any way. Often it's the entire family who need advice, support and practical guidance.
Above all though Access Legal is keenly aware that this is very sensitive work and we offer a highly personalised and responsive service, regularly meeting clients in their own homes, as well as liaising with family, friends and care professionals.
Partner Charlotte Dunn is a member of the OPG Panel of Deputies. She is entrusted to act by the COP and manage the affairs of those who lack capacity and do not have anyone else who can act for them.
Our team of legal advisers of all levels provide specialist legal advice to older, vulnerable people, their families and carers.
If I can apply to the Court of Protection
The Court of Protection is a special section of the court established following the passing into law of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which deals with applications relating to anyone who does not have the mental capacity to manage their own affairs. It works alongside the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) which was set up to oversee the general management of the affairs of people lacking capacity.
The Court of Protection will look at applications for Deputyship by any of the following:
It's not unusual for the court to appoint (or for applicants to seek) Professional Deputies (more often than not solicitors) to act on behalf of a person deemed to lack capacity. Indeed, our partner, Charlotte Dunn, is a member of the OPG Panel of Professional Deputies. This ensures that there is someone on your side who fully understands the legal procedures.
Even if you decide to apply to the Court of Protection on your own, the procedure involved in making an application can be confusing and is certainly time consuming, which is why you should seek legal advice from Access Legal before you begin.
Access Legal can help you with the completion of forms when applying to the Court of Protection. The forms required depend, to a certain degree, on the patient's circumstances and what order you are asking the Court of Protection to make. In most instances, the following documents will be required:
Making sure these forms are completed properly is important as making an application to the COP is not cheap. Supervision fees that are levied on Deputies and charged by the OPG were restructured in October 2011 – before that, each level of supervision was charged at a different fee rate. The four levels of supervision remained unchanged and they are now a flat rate of £320.
An emergency application to the Court of Protection can also be made to obtain an emergency Court of Protection Order.
Access Legal has unrivalled expertise in applications to the Court of Protection for the appointment of Deputies and several partners at Access Legal act as Professional Deputies.
We are equally skilled in the preparation and approval of Statutory Wills, Powers of Attorney, establishing Trusts or setting up Personal Injury Trusts if the incapacity resulted from personal injury or medical negligence.
The COP team can also draw on substantial expertise across the firm in personal injury and clinical negligence if seeking a compensation settlement is also appropriate.
There are a number of fees associated with Court of Protection and you will find some help and guidance in the following leaflets:
The basic application fee is £400 and if the application is in relation to the appointment of a deputy, there is an appointment fee of £100 to pay. Supervision fees that are levied on deputies and charged by the OPG were restructured in October 2011 – before that, each level of supervision was charged at a different fee rate. The four levels of supervision remained unchanged:
Level 1 – close supervision
Level 2A – intermediate supervision
Level 2 – low supervision
Level 3 – minimal supervision
A flat rate fee of £320 is charged for the first three levels of supervision. 'Minimal supervision', which previously did not attract any fee, now incurs a small 'administration charge' of £35. If a Professional Deputy is appointed, they too will charge fees which are calculated at an hourly rate as assessed by the Supreme Court costs office.