What’s the difference between a Lasting Power of Attorney and Deputyship?
In light of Parkinson’s Awareness Month 2019, our Court of Protection solicitors look at how deputyship can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety around making decisions on behalf of someone who is no longer physically or mentally able to make them independently.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPAs) can also be a useful tool for family members and friends to help when someone is no longer able to make decisions about their health or finances, so what’s the difference?
Are deputies and LPAs the same thing?
An LPA gives your trusted family member or friend the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf, once you no longer have the capacity or wish to make decisions for yourself. You can only appoint an Attorney under an LPA if you have the mental capacity to understand what you are doing at that time.
A deputy is usually a family member or friend who is appointed by the Court of Protection after you have lost the mental capacity to make decisions about property and finances or health and welfare. Whilst similar to an LPA, the Court will require information about the person to be protected, their financial position, an assessment confirming they lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves and a commitment from the person wanting to be appointed that they will abide by the requirements that are in place to protect the person requiring assistance.
What is the role of a deputy?
Once appointed, deputies will need to ensure that all the assets of the person for whom they are appointed are working as hard as they can. This might involve selling an unoccupied property and investing the proceeds, or renting the property to provide income for them. Deputies will also ensure that food, clothing and utilities that the person needs, are paid for. This could be in the form of a small allowance, through their care support team or by directly involving themselves in the process.
Deputies are also required to submit a report each year detailing what they have received in income and what they have spent on behalf of the person requiring protection. This can be a daunting task for some but deputies are entitled to use the person’s funds to instruct experts to complete these forms on their behalf.
How we can help
Being diagnosed with a debilitating illness such as Parkinson’s disease can be a worrying time both for the person concerned but also for close family and friends. There are lots of tools that can be used to assist the person suffering from the diagnosis of Parkinson’s or any other condition, and our dedicated Court of Protection solicitors have the experience to provide with advice and assistance needed to secure your preferred outcome.