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What is the Court of Protection?

Jul 14, 2015

The Court of Protection is the name of a special court that has become well known to the general public since The Mental Capacity Act 2005 was brought into force.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 says that anyone who lacks capacity under the definition of the Act, must have representation appointed by themselves before they lacked capacity, or someone who is appointed by the Court of Protection.

Therefore the Court of Protection is there to carry out a number of different roles including:

  •          Applying the law to see if someone lack capacity
  •          Appointing representatives for people who lack capacity – these representatives are known as deputies
  •          Allowing one-off decisions to be made for someone who lacks capacity
  •          Acting on any urgent cases where the court must make a legal intervention immediately
  •          Approving or rejecting Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) applications or intervening in these when things go wrong

The Court of Protection is based in London and depending on the type of case being heard, there could be a district judge, a senior judge of even a judge from the High Court.

Some of the most common applications to the Court of Protection are seeking permission to make decisions on behalf of someone. This could be for a number of reasons such as an accident that has left a family member brain damaged or perhaps sudden onset of dementia or even learning disabilities.

There are two functions of the Court of Protection in these circumstances. The first is to help make a one off decision for an individual that lacks capacity. This could be about their home life, such as where they will live or whether their property should be sold or it could be related to a medical condition and their treatment.

Alternatively, you may ask the Court of Protection to provide you with the ability to act as someone’s deputy as they now lack capacity to make decisions for themselves.

Either way, the Court of Protection offers a layer of protection through process for people who could be taken advantage of and more importantly allows family members and loved ones the ability to deal with pressing legal issues even where there is a lack of capacity.

If you would like to find out more about the Court of Protection and how it could help you and your family, please do get in touch with Gareth Horner, who will be happy to help. You can call 01264 325834 or email ghorner@bsandi.co.uk   Alternatively, fill out our no obligation enquiry form on our website and a member of our private client team will contact you shortly.


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