What is the difference between a Deputyship and an LPA?
It is important to know the difference between applying for a Deputyship under the Mental Capacity Act and making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
An LPA is a legal document that allows a person who is at least 21 years old to voluntarily appoint a donee or multiple donees to make decisions and act on his behalf if he loses his mental capacity.
Deputyship is used if a person has lost mental capacity and did not make an LPA. Someone (usually a family member) requests the Family Court to give the family member the power to make decisions on their behalf.
If a family member still has the mental capacity to grant an LPA, this is definitely the best option. Here are the reasons:
- an LPA allows the person making it to choose who they want to make decisions on their behalf. So the person making the LPA chooses who will look after them.
- LPAs are substantially cheaper than applying to the court for a deputyship.
- An LPA takes only a couple of days to complete. On the other hand, applying to the court to appoint a Deputy takes about 6 months.
- Disputes may arise between family members over who is to become the Deputy.
- Making an LPA will spare our loved ones the stressful and costlier process of obtaining a court order to be appointed as a Deputy.
If a family member has already lost the mental capacity to make an LPA, doing an LPA is no longer possible. Applying to the Family Court to be appointed as a Deputy is the only option.
What is a Deputy?
A Deputy is appointed by the court to make certain decisions on behalf of a person who lacks mental capacity when the person has not made a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
Parents of children with intellectual disabilities may also apply to the court to appoint themselves as deputies for their children and another person as a successor deputy to plan if the parents themselves lose capacity or pass away.
You may read more detailed information surrounding a deputy application here.