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Deputyship Pilot Scheme

View profile for Tasha Bibby
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It can be a difficult time for anyone who finds themselves in the position of needing to help a relative or friend who’s lost mental capacity to manage their financial affairs, and that person does not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.

Loss of mental capacity can occur suddenly through an accident, it could be acquired at birth with a diagnosis such as autism or significant learning difficulties, or it could be something which has developed later in life over a longer period of time such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

A lack of authority to manage a person’s finances can be problematic because that person may have bills or expenses that need to be paid or maintained, and they could also be vulnerable to financial exploitation.

At present, without a Lasting Power of Attorney in place to authorise someone to manage a person’s financial affairs, the only way to achieve this is by making an application to the court to request that they appoint someone (or multiple people) as what is called a “Deputy” and authorising those person(s) powers to manage the financial affairs of the person without capacity within a court order.

The Deputyship process involves numerous forms which need to be completed detailing information about the person, their assets and liabilities and information about the people applying to be appointed as Deputies. Additionally, once the application is issued the court give directions for further forms to be completed and certain people to be notified about an application and opportunities for opinions to be taken. 

Applications are currently taking around 8 months for orders to be received. There are a number of reasons for this including severe underfunding of the court system and the effects of covid, which have meant the court have never caught back up with their previous shorter timescales.    

Since 2021, the court have been trialling a new pilot scheme to ascertain whether they’re able to improve their internal procedures to shorten the amount of time it takes to process applications. Under this pilot scheme all requirements of the court, including the various notifications, are carried out at the outset of a matter and everything is submitted to the court in one go via an online portal. The benefit of this is that, so far, the court are reporting the turnaround times for applications are much shorter.

The pilot scheme was originally only available to a limited number of firms to test the effectiveness of the process but due to the initial success of this, the court have now extended participation to a wider group of law firms.

We are delighted to confirm we’ve been accepted to participate in this pilot scheme and are now able to submit deputyship applications through the online portal and utilise the faster process for our clients.

If you require a Deputyship application, please get in touch with our Court of Protection team, Solicitor, Alison Lee and Trainee Legal Executive, Tasha Bibby or call on 023 9266 0261.