Applying for a deputyship order when it is too late for a power of attorney

Lucie Glover

Lucie Glover


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March 3, 2021

When parents, partners or relatives lose the ability to manage their own affairs, it is often difficult for loved ones to manage financial matters on their behalf if they have not appointed a power of attorney. However, if it is too late to appoint an attorney, applying to become a deputy offers an alternative route to providing help and support.

Lucie Glover a Chartered Legal Executive in the Vulnerable Client team at law firm Furley Page, said “Many people simply do not want to consider a future in which they are no longer independent, while others might not know who to appoint as an attorney or might worry about being a burden on their family. Whatever the reason, even if there is no power of attorney then you can still help by applying to become their deputy.”

The process of becoming a person’s deputy can only be carried out once the individual has lost the capacity to manage their own finances. Deputyship is then awarded to the applicant by the Court of Protection.

Lucie continued: “Although the application can be lengthy, typically taking about six months until a final order is received, deputyship offers people the chance to take charge of the affairs of a loved one who is no longer able to make decisions for themselves.

“The first stage is to ensure that the individual who has lost capacity has not already appointed a power of attorney. It may simply be a case of looking through their paperwork to find out if there is an existing power of attorney. Alternatively, or if you remain uncertain, you can find out from the Office of the Public Guardian if a power of attorney has already been registered.

“If there is no existing power of attorney, you can apply to the court to become the person’s deputy. Providing the court is satisfied that the person no longer has the necessary capacity to be able to manage their own finances and that you are a suitable person to act for them, the court will appoint you.”

A deputy is required to submit an annual report to the Office of the Public Guardian, detailing the exact capital, income and expenditure that has taken place each year. The reporting can be onerous, but it serves to protect the incapacitated individual from any mistakes that might be made by a deputy.

Lucie continued: “One of the key advantages to becoming someone’s deputy, rather than being their attorney, is that you will be subject to a certain level of supervision. This is particularly useful if you have never acted as a deputy or attorney previously, as it provides some reassurance that the decisions you make are appropriate.

“You may wish to consider applying for a professional deputy to be appointed alongside you or in your place. This position is often filled by a solicitor who can use their experience to help you in making your decisions through the application and beyond.”

Furley Page has extensive experience in making and advising on deputyship applications and is able to help throughout the process. For advice and support about a range of legal issues, please contact Lucie Glover on or call 01227 763939.