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Here, in a serialised blog, solicitor Katie Winslow takes a look at the Court of Protection and answers some frequently asked questions.
What is the Court of Protection and what does it do?
The Court of Protection is a specialist court that makes decisions for adults (though also young people aged 16-18 in some cases) who do not have the mental capacity to do so themselves.
Amongst the most common issues that affect a person’s mental capacity are dementia, brain injury, certain learning disabilities and sometimes substance abuse issues.
Applications can be made to the Court of Protection for decisions regarding the finances, property, health and personal welfare of a person who lacks capacity. It can be asked to make one-off decisions such as where the person concerned should live or who they should have contact with, and also long-term decisions such as whether a Deputy should be appointed to manage their financial affairs. In all cases, the Court will require evidence that the person who it is being asked to make a decision for does not have capacity to make the decision for themselves. Any decision that the Court makes must be in the best interests of the person who lacks capacity.
The Court will decide some cases by reviewing the evidence that it has been provided with but in other matters - particularly those involving a dispute - it will require a hearing to be held at which the parties give evidence. Once it has made a decision, the Court will make an Order to give effect to what has been decided.
What sort of decisions can the Court of Protection make?
The Court of Protection must make decisions that are in the best interests of the person who lacks capacity to make the decision for themselves. Examples of issues involving a person who lacks capacity that the Court can be asked to consider include:
If you are concerned about the mental capacity of a loved one and wish to enquire further about Court of Protection issues, please contact our specialist team today.