Every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions, but sometimes because of illness or injury, this may not be possible. Where somebody lacks the capacity to make decisions, the court may appoint someone to do this on their behalf.
A deputy is usually a close friend or relative of the person who needs help making decisions, although it can also be a professional, such as a solicitor, accountant or local authority officer. You can apply to become a deputy yourself or ask for someone else to be appointed.
The majority of deputies look after financial affairs, although some are responsible for making welfare, medical and treatment decisions on behalf of an individual. This is normally because family members disagree about the best care or because someone doesn’t have support from family or close friends.
Once appointed, a deputy has responsibility for looking after the person’s money, property or other assets. This could involve paying household bills, reviewing state benefits or selling a property. Deputies need to make regular reports to the court to ensure they are acting in the person’s best interests.
We have highly experienced solicitors who are experts in this field and who can act as deputies for people lacking capacity or advise you about the process for appointing a deputy. Uniquely, we usually only make charges at the end of our involvement and take them from the managed assets.