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Court Appointed Deputies

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What is the Court of Protection?

The Court of Protection was set up to protect people who are unable to make decisions about their personal health, welfare or finance. The court has the power to make decisions about a person’s personal welfare and can decide whether to provide, withdraw or withhold medical treatment from a person who lacks capacity. It can also appoint a Deputy to make decisions on behalf of another person.

If you lack capacity and haven’t made a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare (LPA), and there are ongoing decisions that need to be made about your health or welfare then someone close to you can apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your Deputy. This means that they will have the legal power to make decisions about certain aspects of your health or care.

If their application is successful the court will issue a court order that gives them authority to act on your behalf and explains which decisions they can make. The court will limit their decision-making power to specific issues, depending on the circumstances of the case.

To apply to become a Court Appointed Deputy there is an initial fee of £400. The application is the first part of a longer process. Once the court order is issued there are continuing tasks and responsibilities that the Deputy has to complete.

The Office of the Public Guardian will supervise and support Deputies and they will have to submit reports on any action or decision taken on your behalf. More fees have to be paid to cover the cost of this supervision:

  • £100 for the Deputy Assessment fee. This is paid once to the Office of the Public Guardian to determine the level of supervision needed;
  • an annual supervision fee of either £35 or £320. The amount will depend on how closely the Deputy needs to be supervised.

It’s much better to make an Lasting Power of Attorney before you lose capacity because applying to be a Deputy can take a long time and can be costly. Deputies have to report on all decisions they make, which they wouldn’t have to do if they were your Attorney. Their power to make decisions is also limited to specific things, and Deputies are never able to make decisions about life-sustaining treatment.

Deputies have to be over 18 and are usually a family member or friend. They must always make decisions in your ‘best interests’.


Read our factsheet for more information on how decisions are made for me if I lack capacity