When someone you love loses the mental capacity to make decisions regarding managing their finances and/or their health and welfare, not only must you deal with the grief that comes with that person no longer being who they once were, but you also need to obtain the legal authority to administer certain aspects of their lives. The latter requires applying to the Court of Protection to become a Deputy. In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide to the deputyship application forms.
If you need further assistance or want to talk to someone about what being a Deputy involves, please contact us through our contact page here. Our Court of Protection Deputyship Solicitors are always happy to help.
“Having had in-depth experience in working in the care sector whilst undertaking my law degree, I know how devastated people can feel when someone they love no longer has the capacity to care for themselves or make decisions. The process of becoming a Deputy and the responsibilities that come with the role, can bring completely new experiences to an individual. . As a team, we are always available to assist with filling in forms, answering questions, and supporting you through the process. ”
(Lottie Jones, Trainee Solicitor.)
Definition: This article occasionally uses the abbreviation “P”. This is a common abbreviation in Court of Protection law to mean “Protected Party”. In this case, P represents the person for whom you are applying to be deputy, occasionally referred to as the respondent.
A step-by-step guide to applying to be a Deputy
Step one – fill in the Deputyship application forms
You must fill in the following forms to become a Deputy:
- FORM COP1 – the main application form to become a Deputy. If your application is not covered by any of the exemptions you will need to pay £400 when you submit FORM COP1. Also, this form must be filed in duplicate. Further information concerning property and affairs applications (FORM COP1A) or personal welfare applications (FORM COP1B) must also be provided.
- FORM COP3 – a medical practitioner needs to confirm via this form that the individual subject to the Deputyship no longer has the mental capacity to make independent decisions concerning their finances and/or health and welfare.
- FORM COP4 – you, as the person applying to be a deputy, must complete this declaration form.
- FORM COP9 – if the application needs to be fast-tracked for some reason, this form must be completed, often alongside FORM COP24 which is a witness statement.
Step two – send the completed Deputy forms to the Court of Protection
Upon completion, the forms will need to go to the Court of Protection who will respond within two to three weeks. The returned forms will bear the official stamp of the Court of Protection.
Step three – provide relevant people with the forms
The person for whom you are applying to be deputy (known as the protected party (P) or the respondent) must be notified. You will need to explain in person what deputyship means and where they can seek independent advice. Although this may be difficult, it is important that you do everything required to notify P. Our solicitors have extensive experience and training in talking to vulnerable people and can assist you with this step. If P is under 18 years, you will need to notify the person who has parental responsibility for them.
‘Notification’ and ‘service’ of forms are treated differently by the courts, with the latter being viewed as more contentious. This is often inappropriate for deputyship applications and can lead to a greater burden on you as the applicant. Therefore, it is important to speak to us about which route is most suitable for your situation.
P and any other respondents have 14 days to reply to the Court of Protection concerning the notification/service of the deputyship application.
Step four – return the Deputyship Application forms to Court of Protection
The following forms must be returned to the Court of Protection:
- The finalised COP5s from P and any other respondents who were notified under step three.
- FORM COP20A which states P has been notified.
- FORM COP20B verifying the respondents and persons to be notified have been informed.
Once all the forms have been received, the Court of Protection will consider the deputyship application.
Step five – granting of the deputyship
If the Court of Protection approves your deputyship application, it will send you a form to set up a security bond with the Deputy Bond Services (DBS). Once this is done, you will receive the final deputyship order from the Court. Notice of the deputyship will also be provided to P.
A Note from Our Court of Protection Solicitors
Acting as someone’s Deputy comes with considerable responsibility. Our Court of Protection solicitors are compassionate, friendly, and approachable. They also have the experience and understanding required to advise you throughout the application process and whilst you are acting as a Deputy.