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A guide to navigating Court of Protection Orders

If you want to support someone who can't make decisions for themselves, you may consider applying for a Court of Protection Order. 

Here you’ll find information about what the Court of Protection is and the kind of support an Order can give. 

A Court of Protection Order is a legal document. It states that a 'deputy' can make decisions for someone else (a 'donor').

The Order is given by the Court of Protection in England and Wales.

It's only created when the donor lacks mental capacity and there isn't a lasting power of attorney in place.

What is mental capacity?

Having mental capacity means being able to make your own decisions. Someone may not have mental capacity for many reasons, including:

  • A serious brain injury
  • An illness such as dementia
  • Severe learning disabilities.

Depending on where you live in the UK, there are different types of orders available, but they all work in a similar way.

  • In Scotland, the Sheriff can make a Guardianship Order. 
  • In Northern Ireland, the High Court can make a Controllership Order. 
  • In England and Wales, they’re sometimes called Deputyship Orders as well as Court of Protection Orders. 

Once a Court of Protection Order is given, the deputy must register it with us before they can handle the donor's Monmouthshire Building Society (MBS) accounts.

Other ways to support someone 

If someone still has mental capacity, they may want to set up a lasting power of attorney instead. This document gives them more control over how their affairs are managed.

When a person's only income comes from benefits, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can appoint someone to help them. This person is called a 'DWP appointee' and can manage the money for the individual if they are no longer able to make decisions due to their mental capacity.

The Court of Protection will only give an Order when someone can't make choices for themselves and if they don't have a lasting power of attorney to assist them.

The Court can choose 2 types of deputies to help someone. They can pick 1 deputy for welfare and another for property and finances. It's okay if the same person serves in both roles.

The Court will decide everything, like how many deputies to appoint and what each deputy is allowed (or not allowed) to do.

Becoming a deputy

Anyone can try to become a deputy, and it's usually a friend or family member of the person who needs help.

To be a deputy, you must be 18 years old or older. If you'll be taking care of someone's money, you should feel sure about making financial choices for them.

If nobody close to the person is right for the role, the Court can choose a panel deputy. A panel deputy is often a charity or a law firm that has been approved to help.

More than 1 deputy 

If more than one person wants to be a deputy, the Court might decide how they will work together.

The Court can say that the deputies must act 'Jointly,' which means they have to make all decisions together. Or they can say they should act 'Jointly and Severally,' which means they can decide together or separately.

Regular check-ins 

After the Order is given, the Office of the Public Guardian will keep in touch with the deputy regularly to see how things are going. They can offer help, guidance, and support to make sure the deputy knows what to do.

The deputy will also have to send a yearly report to the Office of the Public Guardian. This paper tells about every decision the deputy made on behalf of the person they're helping. It should also include a record of all the money that went in and out of the person's accounts during that year.

Each Court of Protection Order is different. And the Court will decide what a deputy can and can't do.

Some things a deputy may be able do with MBS include: 

Green Check Mark PNGs for Free DownloadPaying bills and making transfers 

Green Check Mark PNGs for Free DownloadManaging regular payments (like standing orders)  

Green Check Mark PNGs for Free DownloadSelling property or managing mortgage payments 

In most cases, the deputy must not: 

  File:Cross red circle.svg - Wikimedia Commons  Put money or property in their name 

The deputy must keep their own money separate from the donor’s money.

  File:Cross red circle.svg - Wikimedia Commons  Give away the donor’s money  

Sometimes the Court may allow the deputy to give a gift using the person's money, but they shouldn't give away large amounts of it without permission.

  File:Cross red circle.svg - Wikimedia Commons  Make or change a will 

A deputy can't change an existing will or create a new one for the person they're supporting without asking the Court of Protection.

  File:Cross red circle.svg - Wikimedia Commons  Claim unnecessary expenses 

A deputy can ask for money back for things they had to pay to help the person, like phone calls or posting documents. However, they shouldn't claim expenses for the time they spend supporting someone.

The Court decides how long the Order will be in effect, and in most cases, it will last for the donor's whole life.

However, the Court can also make one-time decisions.

For instance, the Court can make a single decision for someone who can't think properly. For example, if someone wants to stop another person from visiting someone in a care home, they can ask the Court for help.

The Court can also make emergency Orders.

These are called 'urgent interim Orders' and are made when there is an immediate danger to someone who can't make decisions. For example, if they need medical treatment but can't give consent.

Fees for a Court of Protection Order can vary depending on the type of deputy someone wants to be.

As well as the amount of money the person they want to support has. 

In all cases, the deputy will need to pay: 

  • an application fee  
  • any Court or legal fees associated with the application (these are a fixed amount set by the Court) 
  • a supervision fee every year.

If a deputy is appointed to manage someone’s money, the deputy may be able to claim these costs back from the donor’s funds.  

If the deputy is on a low income or receives certain benefits, they may not need to pay some or all of the fees.

The Court of Protection can give specific advice when a deputy makes an application. 

In England and Wales, you can apply to the Court of Protection by sending a letter or asking a solicitor to help you.

Although you don't need a solicitor, getting a Court of Protection Order can be complicated. So, it might be a good idea to seek advice from a professional who can guide you through the process.

How to become a deputy  
  1. Complete the required forms, which include an application form, an assessment of capacity form, a deputy's declaration, and a supporting information form. You can find these forms on GOV.UK or through a solicitor.

  2. Send the completed forms to the Court by mail. Also, inform the person you want to support about your application. Tell three people who know the person well, such as friends, relatives, or their GP. The Court will want to see proof that you've informed them.

  3. The Court will review your application at least 14 days after you've informed those three people. They will then let you know if your application is approved or rejected. In some cases, the Court might decide to hold a hearing to gather more information.

  4. If your application is successful, the Court will send you a copy of the Court Order. This document will outline what you can and cannot do for the person you're helping, and you can start acting on their behalf right away. 

Managing someone else’s money as a deputy 

Once you're appointed as a deputy, you must register the Court of Protection Order with the person's banks and building societies. The Court will provide you with copies of the Order that you can use for this purpose.

Register a Court of Protection Order with us

If you will be operating a Monmouthshire Building Society savings account on behalf of another adult applicant(s), you must complete an Official Signatory Form.

A copy of the Trust Deed, Power of Attorney, Will, Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (as applicable) must accompany the form.

Please click here for a copy of the Official Signatory Form, or call us to discuss in more detail.

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