18 December 2014
The Court of Protection Explained
When someone suffers a serious injury, the stress of managing day to day affairs can be enormous. This can be all the more so when the person has lost the capacity to make their own decisions.
This is where the Court of Protection comes in. People who have suffered, for example, a brain injury or life changing medical negligence can be particularly vulnerable and they are in need of legal assistance. As well as overseeing the injured person’s affairs, the Court of Protection can appoint what’s called a “Deputy” to look after certain matters for that person.
A Court of Protection Deputy might be a relative, a friend or a specialist Court of Protection Solicitor. Generally, a Deputy would be empowered to look after specified financial matters although the Court of Protection can determine exactly what powers a Deputy should have depending upon the particular case; and the Court of Protection can certainly extend beyond this where appropriate.
So, for example, if someone has suffered a serious injury in an accident for which they successfully claimed compensation, then the Court of Protection could appoint a Deputy to help administer the compensation. This might be in assisting with the use of the money in procuring practical rehabilitation aids and support services for the injured person, and it might also be in assisting with investment decisions.
Obviously the role of a Court of Protection Deputy is one which carries an enormous responsibility. In order to fulfil it in the best way, the protected person themselves will be consulted to the extent that they have the ability to be able to communicate any wishes. But it also helps knowing and understanding their history and consulting friends and relatives to try and fully understand exactly what is in the injured person’s best interests.
Above all, being a Court of Protection appointed Deputy is a role which requires great sensitivity to the protected person’s needs, as well as good organisational and administrative skills to be able to keep on top of the various matters which can arise.
Slater and Gordon are a nationwide law firm with offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Derby, Cardiff, Merseyside, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield & meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire & in Hull, Yorkshire.