Deputyship or Lasting Power of Attorney?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. LPAs are substantially cheaper than applying to the court for a deputyship.
  3. 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.
  4. Disputes may arise between family members over who is to become the Deputy.
  5. 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.

Should you require legal representation, kindly contact PKWA Law for a free first consultation with one of our lawyers.

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