Court of Protection
The Court of Protection makes decisions on financial and welfare matters for people who lack the mental capacity to make those decisions at the time that it needs to be made.
The Court of Protection is responsible for:
- deciding whether a person has the mental capacity to make a particular decision for themselves
- appointing deputies to make decisions for people who lack mental capacity
- giving someone permission to make one-off decisions on behalf of a person who lacks mental capacity
- making decisions about a lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney
- making a decision about applications to make statutory wills or gifts
- making decisions about when someone can be deprived of their liberty under the Mental Capacity Act.
Below are the types of decisions that you can ask the Court of Protection can make:
- help someone without mental capacity to make long-term
- apply to become a court-appointed deputy
- make an urgent or emergency application
- apply to for a one-off decision
- object to the registration of an enduring or lasting power of attorney
- cancel an enduring power of attorney
- challenge an order restricting someone’s freedom (Deprivation of liberty orders)
- make a statutory will on behalf of someone else
- sell property when an owner has lost mental capacity
Court of Protection and COVID-19
As a result of the coronavirus there have been some changes to legislation that will affect community care and welfare Court of Protection practice. The Court of Protection is one of the few courts that will have genuinely urgent cases that need to be heard. If a case is urgent, steps will be taken to deal with it.
The Court of Protection is aiming to conduct simpler directions hearing and all hearings listed for less than two hours by telephone if an order can’t be agreed. More complicated hearings, for example where evidence is going to be heard, will probably need to be by video link.
Other key changes in practice include:
- Judges and practitioners can only visit in person where it is absolutely essential
- No hearings which require people to attend are to take place unless there is a genuine urgency and it is not possible to conduct a remote hearing
- The current position is that all hearings will be heard remotely
- The courts will try to be flexible about the practical arrangements for hearings and can deal with hearings:
- by way of an email exchange between the court and the parties;
- by way of telephone using conference calling facilities;
- by way of the court’s video-link system, if available;
- using Skype for Business App installed on judicial laptops;
- using any other appropriate means of remote communication, for example BT MeetMe, Zoom or FaceTime.
- Applications can still be made in the usual way and the courts are working to put in place systems to make sure genuinely urgent cases are dealt with
- Electronic signatures will be accepted where possible.