If you have not made any advance care planning arrangements such as putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place either for yourself or a family member who is experiencing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, then decisions on care will have to be considered by the Court of Protection.
Based in London and consisting primarily of district judges, the Court of Protection is there to decide on the ongoing management of healthcare, welfare and finances for those who no longer have the mental capacity to safely look after their own interests.
Under the terms of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA), the Court of Protection looks closely at the individual circumstances of the patient, and especially whether they have the mental capacity to make important decisions for themselves. The court is also responsible for appointing ‘deputies’ who will be put in charge of making any ongoing decisions where mental capacity is clearly impaired.
This can be quite a lengthy process, so those who have already thought about future long term elderly care and the potential for mental incapacity by putting a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place will be able to organise their care needs more quickly.
“Eldermera can guide you through the application process and explain the information you need to provide for the Court of Protection to decide about the long term care of a loved one.”
The Court of Protection also has the power to make ‘one off’ decisions and decide on emergency applications where an immediate decision is required. It can look in fine detail at Lasting Power of Attorney documents and the provisions therein, especially where there are objections to registration. Other powers of the court include looking at statutory will or gift applications and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
There is a raft of different legal paperwork and forms to complete and Eldermera can provide you with guidance about Court of Protection application procedures and act on your behalf.
If you have decided that you, a family member, friend or professional advisor needs to be appointed as a deputy for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you will need to complete the COP1 main application form. This includes an Annexe which sets out all the necessary supporting information about the current assets, finances and affairs of the patient. Other key paperwork includes the COP3 assessment of capacity form and the deputy’s declaration.
Being appointed as a deputy isn’t a foregone conclusion, it’s up to the person to prove their suitability to the district judge, so ensure you show the appropriate level of diligence when preparing the documentation.
Once the Court of Protection has the appropriate documentation and information, it will assess the deputy’s suitability. District judges will assess most cases but they can occasionally be referred to a senior or High Court judge, especially where there are highly complex circumstances.
Applying to the Court of Protection can be a protracted process: standard applications can take 16 weeks to final notification from the court, and sometimes the court will need additional information which can cause further delays. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place means care decisions can be taken more quickly.
Call Eldermera today to discuss your Court of Protection application or the process of how to put an LPA in place.
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