It has been revealed that applications to the Court of Protection have risen by around 50% in the past 10 years. This news was shared by a Senior Judge of the Court, Her Honour Judge Hilder, at the national Solicitors for the Elderly conference which took place in June.
Judge Hilder said that 15,000 applications were made in 2018, up from 10,000 in 2008. The vast majority of these – a huge 97% – were to make decisions about finances. This means that the Court is dealing with more Deputyship issues surrounding property and finances than welfare.
Applications for Powers of Attorney also rose by a large amount during this same period. This was a shocking increase from 10,000 to 750,000.
Judge Hilder believes that the reason for this is because finance issues are more likely to be disputed. Matters that are not as contentious can be dealt with elsewhere in the courts.
The huge increase in applications to the Court could prove to be very challenging on their workload. It is likely that this trend will only continue to rise in future. This could cause longer waiting times and completion delays, so you should make your application as soon as possible.
The Court of Protection deals with actions that take place under the Mental Capacity Act. They have the power to make decisions for people who are not able to make them due to loss of capacity. They also deal with Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and Deputyship.
An LPA can also be known as attorneyship. This allows you to appoint people you trust to become ‘attorneys’ and manage your affairs when you no longer can. They can make decisions for you on healthcare, medical treatment and accommodation (Health and Welfare). Or, they can deal with bills, finances and property (Property and Financial Affairs). You can even choose someone to cover both areas. An LPA must be made before you lose the capacity to make your own decisions. They also mean that friends and family will not have to apply for Deputyship.
Deputyship is when you apply for the authority to act on someone else’s behalf, after they have lost the capacity to make their own decisions. This is only if they do not have an LPA in place that was set up before they lost capacity. A Deputy has to be appointed by the Court. Each year, they must also send a report to the Office of the Public Guardian about the decisions they have made.
We can help you set up your LPA today. Get in touch with us to find out what we can do for you. Call us on 01743 387990. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to one of our expert advisers today.