What is a Deputyship Order?

As the population ages, conditions such as Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia are on the rise. If a loved one is suffering from dementia, they may have been able to plan who will make decisions on their behalf when they are no longer able to do so; for instance setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). If no provisions have been made in advance, the Court of Protection can appoint a deputy to manage the affairs of a person who lacks mental capacity. This is called a Deputyship Order.

I have been asked to become a deputy – what does it involve?

Often, the deputy is a friend or relative, but they can also be a professional such as a solicitor. If you have been asked to become a deputy, you need to be aware that this can be a difficult role which carries a number of responsibilities. You have specific duties you must carry out. You will be responsible for making decisions on behalf of the person who lacks capacity. This might be about their care, day to day living or property and financial affairs. When you make these decisions, you need to:

There are also rules governing what you can't do. For example you cannot:

Supervision of deputies

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) supervises deputies' actions. There are four different levels of supervision and the OPG may visit you to ensure you're carrying out your role effectively. The OPG can provide you with further advice and information.

Stopping being a deputy

In certain circumstances, you may wish to stop being a deputy. The person may recover capacity, or you may feel unable to continue in the role. You should be aware that you cannot stop being a deputy until you have applied to the Court of Protection and been given the relevant court order.

Acting as someone's deputy is an important role, and one you should consider carefully before you accept.

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