Solicitors fees for a deputyship application are costly and the application itself time consuming. But sometimes a deputyship is the best thing for your loved one. If you are not yet at the point of needing to apply for a deputyship, we advised you ask your loved one to put a lasting power of attorney (LPA) in place. It only costs £82 to register an LPA, which is a minor price compared to applying for a deputyship.
If you need help registering an LPA, visit: https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney
What is a Deputyship?
As a person’s dementia progresses, they begin to lose their ability to make decisions for themselves. They may become less able to make decisions such as what medical treatment they want or where they will live. They may also become unable to manage their financial affairs. In these cases, someone else can make these decisions for them. As long as they have the legal power to do so.
Some people with dementia will already have plans in place for the future when they cannot make their own decisions. They may have put a Lasting power of attorney (LPA) or Enduring power of attorney (EPA) in place. However, if they haven’t, you will need to apply to become their deputy via the Court of Protection.
Deputyship is a way of getting legal authority to make decisions on someone’s behalf if that person no longer has the ability to grant an LPA or EPA. The application is the beginning of a longer process. If you do decide to become someone’s deputy, there are continuing duties and responsibilities that you will be expected to carry out. You should think carefully about what is involved, and get further advice before going ahead.
What is the Difference Between Power of Attorney and Deputyship?
A lasting power of attorney is a document set up by an individual when they have capacity. It sets out who they would want to look after their property and financial affairs, or health and welfare, should they lose their ability to make decisions in the future. It can be set up by anyone over the age of 18 provided they have the capacity to do so. If they lose the capacity to manage their property and financial affairs, or their health and welfare, then the lasting power of attorney comes into effect. At this point the named attorney (or attorneys) takes over management of the property and financial affairs, or health and welfare of the now incapacitated individual.
A deputyship is different. Once an individual no longer has the ability to manage their property and financial affairs (or if they never had this capacity) then it is not possible to put a lasting power of attorney in place. Instead, an application would have to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint someone as the individual’s deputy.
How Long Does it Take to Get Deputyship?
The deputyship application timescales from two to three months. Although the timescale can vary, and complications throughout can extend the time it takes to complete the process. This includes a possible delay prior to the application as the medical evidence can sometimes take a long time depending on the medical practitioner involved.
Solicitors Fees for a Deputyship Application
These medical practitioners can be costly. Some may give their services for free, however many may charge a fee from £50 – £300.
An application fee of £400 is charged by the Court, and there is an appointment of deputy fee of £125.
The Court then charge a yearly supervision fee from £0 – £800. The most common supervision fee for a Deputy looking after an elderly relative is £175 per year. The Deputy also has to take out a ‘security bond’ to cover their actions as Deputy. This cost is payable annually. The bond is set by the Court; the more assets a person has (and therefore the more responsibility the Deputy has), the higher the price. It is likely that the bond will be at least £200.
Court of Protection Solicitors Fixed Costs
Solicitors will charge fees for filling out the deputyship application to appoint the Deputy. There is a lot of work involved and the Court will state in the Order they make, that the solicitor is entitled to charge a fixed fee for their time spent working on the application. A solicitor is however not needed to complete the application. However, an application can be returned if it is not filled out correctly. Solicitors can help with the process, but if you are not willing to pay the costs, some solicitors do offer 30 minutes legal advice for free or for a fixed fee.
Please Note – The solicitors costs can often be paid out of the person’s money that needs the deputyship.
For more help in finding free or affordable advice, contact your nearest Citizens Advice: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/legal-system/finding-free-or-affordable-legal-help/
For application forms and guidance in submitting an application, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/court-of-protection-forms