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Where a loved one loses capacity to manage their financial affairs independently and there is no Lasting Power of Attorney in place then it becomes necessary for an application to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy.
There are many considerations that need to be addressed when applying for a Deputyship order, particularly if you are applying as a lay person. Whilst the process can take many months, an application for a Deputyship order is generally smooth running. However, there are occasions where the application can become ‘contested’. This means that other relatives/professionals may object to the application.
There are a number of reasons why a person may object, but a common reason is that there are ongoing family conflicts. In circumstances whereby a relative objects to the proceedings, a Judge sitting in the Court of Protection will decide who is most appropriate to be appointed as Deputy. In some cases, the court may find that it is appropriate for an independent Professional to be appointed from the Panel. This means that a court approved Professional from the ‘Panel of Deputies’ will be instructed to take on the role of financial Deputy.
Contested applications can be costly and that is why we recommend seeking advice from a specialist solicitor when making a Deputyship application, particularly if you are of the view that other family members/friends might object to the proceedings.
Veronica Mullins, Partner, in our Private Client department, is a Panel Deputy and would be happy to assist where it is appropriate for a Professional to be appointed – either in the first instance or once proceedings have begun.