The two types of Deputy
There are two general types of Deputy:
- Property and Financial affairs, e.g. paying bills or organising investments
- Personal Welfare, e.g. making decisions about medical treatment and how someone is looked after
You can apply to be either type of Deputy, or both. If you’re appointed, the court will make what’s called a ‘Deputyship Order’. This will set out the specific powers and responsibilities given to you as a Deputy.
Who can become a Deputy?
Anyone can make an application to become a Deputy, although usually it will be a friend or family member of the vulnerable person.
However, no one has an ‘automatic right’ to be appointed as a Deputy, no matter how close of a relationship they have to the vulnerable person.
The only strict requirements to becoming a Deputy are:
- You must be over the age of 18; and
- You must be a person (i.e. not a legal entity like a company – although trust corporations can be appointed in some circumstances).
For an appointment to take place, an application must be made to the Court of Protection. If you make this application, you do not necessarily have to ask that you are appointed as the Deputy; you might want to nominate someone else whom you consider to be more suitable.
It should be noted, however, that the Court of Protection has the power to appoint any Deputy they consider to be best placed to carry out the role – whether you have nominated them or not – although a Deputy cannot be appointed without their own consent. The different criteria they use when deciding who to appoint as a Deputy are examined below.
Professional Deputies may also be appointed. This is often done by the court where the vulnerable person has a large estate, or where complex issues may arise.
You may choose, however, to request that a professional Deputy be appointed if you think it would be in the best interests of your loved one. If you would like information about appointing someone from Roche Legal as a Deputy, just ask.