When he retired from the Court of Protection, Denzil Lush stated that he would prefer the scrutiny and protection of a deputyship under the Court of Protection rather than risk using an unsupervised Attorney. I do not agree.

Whilst there are risks with LPA’s, properly prepared and with wisely chosen attorneys, I take the view that they are significantly better and more flexible than a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection.

The application for a deputy can only be made if the you do not have mental capacity to make your own decisions, evidenced by a capacity certificate. By contrast, an attorney can make or carry out decisions if you are physically frail but mentally well.

The patient lacking capacity has no choice over who applies to become Deputy. For example, the bullying child in the family can push to be appointed rather than the quiet competent child.

A straightforward application to the Court of Protection can take between 6 months and a year to process. During this time, your bank accounts are frozen but there may be care costs and household bills to pay. An attorney can be appointed in advance so can be ready to act as soon as needed.

The Deputy must follow the terms of the court order and may be limited as to the type of investments that can be made.

The fee for a Deputy application is £400. The lack of capacity certificate can cost upwards of £500. By contrast, the one off registration fee for a lasting power of attorney is £82 per document.

The Deputy is supervised by the Court and there is an insurance bond in place, both of which incur annual fees. However, it is possible to include similar safeguards in your lasting power of attorney document.

A lasting power of attorney is a very flexible document and, if prepared by a specialist solicitor, offers peace of mind and your choice of attorney to help if you need it.

For more information please contact:
Nikki Spencer
Associate Solicitor and Fully Accredited Member of Solicitors for the Elderly