Contentious Probate Solicitor, Chris Holten, looks at the role of the Court of Protection.
The Court of Protection was created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It has jurisdiction over the property, financial affairs and personal welfare of people who lack mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.
The Court of Protection’s main function is to ensure that the finances of people who lack capacity are protected.
Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, a person is regarded as being unable to make a decision if they cannot:
- Understand information about the decision being made
- Retain that information
- Use or weigh up that information as part of the decision making process
- Communicate their decision by any means.
Quite apart from the emotional impact, lacking capacity to make decisions can have devastating financial consequences. People who lack the capacity to make decisions are often more susceptible to financial abuse and fraud. They will require assistance managing their finances and protection from theft or scams.
It is often difficult to accept that a loved one is losing or has lost capacity. Dealing with this early on is essential.
The Court of Protection recognises that legal work can be expensive. Therefore it is possible to apply for an exemption from Court fees. When an order is granted, it will also be possible to recoup any legal costs (including solicitors’ fes) incurred in making the application.
Although the thought of involving the Court of Protection is daunting, it is the only way to adequately deal with a person’s finances when they have lost capacity to do so themselves.
If you are concerned that a loved one has lost capacity to manage their finances, please contact our team for an informal chat regarding the options that are open to you and how these can be funded.
Call FREEPHONE 0808 139 1596, or visit our dedicted website www.courtofprotectionlawyers.co.uk