Court of Protection

Court of Protection Solicitors

For many people, mental capacity may be an issue, including those with learning difficulties, those suffering from severe autism or dementia, those who may have had a stroke or been injured and, of course, their respective carers or family members.

We understand that caring for vulnerable individuals and managing their affairs is not always straightforward.

That’s why our team provide cohesive, practical and to the point advice and representation for you to make things easier and less complicated. We’ll empathise with your situation and do all we can to help.

Helping you make decisions for people who can’t make them themselves

All matters regarding the possible loss of mental capacity are dealt with by the Court of Protection, a specialist court designed to make decisions for people who are considered to lack capacity to make their own decisions. The decisions could be about day-to-day things, like what to wear or when to pay a bill‚ or they could be more important decisions, such as where to live or whether to have a certain type of medical treatment.

If you want to make decisions for your loved one (and they didn’t make a Lasting Power of Attorney when they had sufficient mental capacity (if they ever had sufficient mental capacity), you will need to obtain a type of Court of Protection order called a Deputyship Order to become a Court of Protection deputy.

Our friendly, expert Court of Protection solicitors can help you apply for a Deputyship Order. We can also assist with a wide range of other Court of Protection matters, including:

  • Advice about mental capacity assessments
  • Getting a one-off decision (e.g. if you need to make a decision, but your Deputyship Order is still being processed)
  • Making or changing someone’s Will (Statutory Will advice)
  • Selling property
  • Applying for an urgent or emergency decision

We also provide advice to deputies about carrying out their responsibilities.

We can also act as a deputy ourselves for people who lack mental capacity.

Get in touch with our Court of Protection solicitors in Gloucestershire 

For expert advice on Court of Protection matters and becoming a deputy, please contact your local WSP branch in GloucesterStroud or Dursley today.

Making our services as accessible as possible is very important to us. So, if you have any needs or requirements that would make it easier or more comfortable to seek our advice, please get in touch for a friendly, confidential discussion with a member of our team.

If it is more convenient or comfortable for you, we can visit you at home and out of hours.

What is mental capacity?

Mental capacity is the ability to make and communicate your own decisions. People make dozens of decisions every day, from small decisions, such as what to eat for lunch to big decisions, such as whether to buy a house.

A person lacks mental capacity if they cannot:

  • Understand the information needed to make a decision
  • Retain that information
  • Use or weigh up that information in order to come to a decision

A person may lack mental capacity (either permanently or temporarily) for many reasons, including:

  • An illness such as Alzheimer’s disease
  • A condition such as a stroke
  • A brain injury
  • Unconsciousness, for example, as the result of an accident
  • A learning disability
  • A severe mental health condition

Old age can also make it harder for a person to make their own decisions.

What does the Court of Protection do?

Many people make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to appoint someone they trust to step in and make decisions for them if they lose mental capacity.

However, some people lose mental capacity without having the opportunity to make an LPA because:

  • The loss of mental capacity happened very suddenly – for example, they had an accident resulting in a long term brain injury
  • They never had sufficient mental capacity – for example, because they were born with a learning disability
  • They just never got around to it

This is where the Court of Protection can help. The Court of Protection was set up specifically to assist people who have lost their mental capacity and their relatives and carers.

The Court can do things like:

  • Assess a person’s mental capacity
  • Make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity
  • Appoint someone (a deputy) to make decisions for someone who lacks mental capacity
  • Make a Will for someone who lacks mental capacity
  • Consent to the sale of someone’s property or appoint someone else to consent to the sale of property that is jointly owned
  • Protect someone from abuse or from being deprived of their liberty

We most commonly help people with deputyship applications, which gives them the legal authorisation to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity.

Why do you need a Deputyship Order?

Personal security and autonomy are extremely important. For this reason, it’s very difficult to manage someone else’s affairs unless you have legal authorisation, even if you are their spouse or civil partner. For example:

  • A bank or building society will not usually let you access someone else’s bank accounts
  • A utility company will not usually let you obtain someone else’s bills
  • A doctor will not hand out private medical information or let you make decisions about someone else’s care or medical treatment

To be able to do these things, you either need a Lasting Power of Attorney appointing you as an attorney or a Deputyship Order appointing you as a Court of Protection Deputy.

How to apply for a Deputyship Order

Court of Protection applications are very long and complex. There are multiple forms to complete, including:

  • An application form
  • A mental capacity assessment (which must be carried out by a qualified medical professional, such as a GP)
  • A deputy’s declaration (giving the Court information about your own financial and personal circumstances and how you plan to make decisions for someone else)
  • Supporting information forms (a property and financial affairs form and/or a personal welfare deputy form depending on which type of deputy you want to become)

Because there are so many forms, it can be easy to make a mistake which just delays the process. So, having a legal professional to help you is essential.

Our Court of Protection solicitors can help with the application process, including completing the documentation and dealing with the Court.

We can also assist with ongoing deputyship requirements, such as:

  • Keeping track of accounts, gifts and expenses
  • Completing and filing your deputy report
  • Keeping up with supervision requirements (deputies are monitored by the Office of the Public Guardian)

We also act as professional deputies if you are not able to take on the role yourself or require in-depth support.

We offer legal advice to help you plan your own future too

If you’d like to plan for the possibility of losing your own mental capacity, we can provide advice on the creation of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA). An LPA allows someone you trust to manage your financial affairs or make personal welfare decisions on your behalf in the event that you lose the ability to make such decisions yourself.

What’s more, we can come and see you at home, if that makes you feel more comfortable.

Visit our Lasting Powers of Attorney page for more information.

Get in touch with our Court of Protection lawyers in Gloucestershire

For expert advice on Court of Protection matters and becoming a deputy, please contact your local WSP branch in GloucesterStroud or Dursley today.

Adult Social Services: Care and support services provided to adults who require assistance, perhaps due to their vulnerability, disability, health or well-being, which aim to promote independence and safeguarding.

Best Interest Meeting: A best interest meeting will be required if there are different opinions about what is in the client’s best interests and a consensus can’t be reached. Opinions may differ between professionals or other interested parties such as relatives.

Court of Protection (COP): A specialist court for all issues relating to people who lack the capacity to make specific decisions. The court makes decisions and appoints deputies to make decisions in the best interests of those who lack capacity to do so.

Deputy: If a relative or friend has lost the ability to make decisions for themselves and cannot create a Lasting Power of Attorney, we can assist with an application to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a person suitable to manage their affairs known as a Deputy.


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    We can help with...
    • Looking after older adults
    • The creation and registration of Lasting & Ensuring Powers of Attorney
    • Deputyship applications and administration
    • Care home fees planning
    • Advance decisions for medical care and life sustaining treatment