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What is the Court of Protection?

The history and role of the Court of Protection has been widely misreported of late. Despite the assertions of the media, it was not set up in 2007 by Jack Straw to seize the assets of the elderly. It has been around in one form or another all this century and for most of the last.

However, since the Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force in October 2007, it is now a proper ‘court of record’ run by judges, rather than a government department. Its role is to help look after the financial and personal affairs of individuals who lack the capacity to make a decision, or decisions, for themselves, either by making that decision for them or by appointing a ‘Deputy’ to make decisions on an ongoing basis.

The Court of Protection is different to the Office of the Public Guardian. Essentially, the Court of Protection makes the decisions and the Office of the Public Guardian handles the ongoing supervision of Deputies.

A Deputy is appointed when an individual’s affairs need to be looked after because that individual is not capable of making decisions for themselves and they have not previously made a Lasting Power of Attorney to appoint someone on their behalf to make those decisions.

The Court will usually appoint a Deputy where it is satisfied that the person is going to need a number of decisions making on their behalf on an ongoing basis.

Find out more about our Court of Protection department
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