If you have not made a Lasting Power of Attorney and you are unable to make decisions for yourself (lacking mental capacity), then a family member or friend can apply to the Court of Protection to become your deputy so that they can make decisions on your behalf.
The court will decide if the person is suitable to be appointed as a deputy, based on their application and the information provided.
If it is not possible to appoint a family member or friend, a professional, such as a solicitor or an accountant, can act as your deputy instead.
Types of deputy
There are two types of deputy.
- Property and financial affairs deputy
- Personal welfare deputy
People can apply for one type of deputy or both. When someone is appointed, they will receive a court order explaining what they can and cannot do.
More information about deputyship and how to apply can be found on the gov.uk website.
As with a Power of Attorney, if your care and support results in you being deprived of liberty, your deputy cannot authorise this decision by themselves. It will need to be authorised by an organisation such as a county council or by the Court of Protection. Your deputy will be involved in this process.
You can find out more about Deprivation of Liberty on the West Sussex County Council website.