Project Description

The problem

Our clients had applied to the Court of Protection to become legal deputies for their father, who was no longer able to make decisions for himself. Their application was contested by their step-siblings, who felt they should be appointed jointly with our clients.

The Process

We considered the step-children’s objection, which related to the shared assets their mother held with our clients’ father. We then put together a counter-argument based on the fact that this wasn’t relevant to the question of the father’s best interests being met.

The Result

The Court of Protection agreed with our position and appointed our clients as joint and several deputies for their father.

How this helped

Our clients came to us to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed deputies for their father, who had not had the capacity to make decisions for himself for quite some time.

Their father had previously made an Enduring Power of Attorney which appointed his wife – our clients’ step-mother – as his sole attorney. Though she had acted successfully on his behalf for a number of years, she had subsequently become unwell herself and was no longer able to fulfil this role.

Our clients expected this to be a straight-forward application, so they were surprised when their step-mother’s children lodged an objection. Their step-siblings wanted to be appointed jointly as deputies with our clients on behalf of our clients’ father. Their argument was that their mother held joint assets with our clients’ father and they therefore wanted to be sure that her best interests were being protected.

Our response to this was simple: each Court of Protection decision should be made in the best interest of the person the application relates to, not anyone else. In the case of this application, it was our clients’ father’s best interests that should be considered, not his wife’s.

The Court of Protection agreed with us on this matter. They turned down the objection from the step-siblings and opted to appoint solely our clients as joint and several deputies for their father.

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