What is the Court of Protection?
The Court of Protection makes decisions for people who lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs for any reason, such as an injury, dementia, a disability or learning difficulty. The decisions the Court of Protection can make include who should manage the person’s finances.
When someone is assessed to lack mental capacity, and a decision needs to be made, it must be made for them, based on what is in their best interests. This can be difficult and disagreements with local authorities or doctors, or between family members is common.
The Court of Protection can consider a wide range of issues and decisions on behalf of people lacking mental capacity, such as:
Where a person should live, for example, there may be a disagreement about whether a person should move to a residential care home or nursing home
What kind of care a person should receive
Who a person should see and have contact with, for example, there may be a disagreement about a disabled adult having contact with family members or certain people
What kind of medication and/or medical treatment a person should receive, for example, whether a disabled adult should receive life-saving surgery or treatment
Whether a person is able to consent to and engage in sexual relations, for example, a disabled adult may have a partner and want to have sex with them, but professionals and family members may disagree on whether this is in their best interests
Whether a person’s care and support (and restrictions in place to keep them safe) amounts to a deprivation of liberty
Deprivation of liberty challenges and appeals, including deciding whether someone living in a care home can return to their own home, should stay in the care home or move to another care home.
HOW DO I APPLY TO THE COURT OF PROTECTION?
The Court of Protection is there for applications to make long term or one-off immediate decisions for someone who lacks capacity to do for themselves.
The decisions may be in relation to:
Money and property
Health and welfare
If a decision relates to medical treatment the court will have regard for any living will or advance decision an individual has made.
It may be necessary to check that someone does not already have a power of attorney or deputy in place to make decisions for them. We can help with this.
Court of Protection applications may be necessary when someone lacks mental capacity due to, for example:
serious brain injury
severe learning disabilities
There are numerous forms to complete in order to make an application to the Court of Protection and evidence may be needed too, such as from a doctor.
The court is equipped to deal with applications and make decisions quickly in emergency situations such as when someone is at risk of harm or there is an immediate medical decision to make.
A solicitor can help with all kinds of Court of Protection applications.
He understands that Court of Protection matters often feel extremely daunting, overwhelming, confusing and can be emotionally charged.
An expert solicitors pride themselves on getting to know individuals and families, to understand the specific complexities of their stories and in doing everything in their power to reduce the strain.
He can help in cases where there is a new or developing loss of mental capacity, such as due to a brain injury, in cases where there are temporary or fluctuating mental capacity issues, due to coma for example, as well as where someone has long term mental capacity issues.