4 July 2024

Deputyship Orders and How to Contest them?

Deputyship Orders: How to contest them?

A Deputyship Order is granted by the Court of Protection to a party applying to control a person’s (“P”) affairs when they no longer have capacity and do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney.

How will I know if a person is making a Deputyship Order Application?

An applicant is required to notify at least 3 people that they are making the application. The order of priority of the parties which the applicant must notify is as follows:

  1. Spouse or civil partner;
  2. Person who is not spouse or civil partner but has been living with P;
  3. Parent or guardian;
  4. Child;
  5. Brother or sister;
  6. Grandparent or grandchild;
  7. Aunt or uncle;
  8. Niece or nephew;
  9. Step-parent;
  10. Step-brother or step-sister.

How do I contest a Deputyship Order Application?

Once you have been notified of an application, if you wish to contest the application, you will be required to complete an acknowledgement of service. As part of the acknowledgement of service, you can select that you wish to oppose the application. You may also complete a witness statement and a case summary to send to the Court of Protection.

What happens once I have opposed a Deputyship Order Application?

Once you have sent your acknowledgement of service to the Court of Protection, the Court will list the case for a hearing. The first hearing may be a Dispute Resolution Hearing. This is designed to enable the parties to reach an agreement as to who should manage P’s affairs and how.

If no agreement can be reached, the Court of Protection may list a contested hearing, where your case and evidence will be put forward and a Judge will decide on who the deputy will be. In circumstances where it is inappropriate for any of the parties to be appointed deputy, the Court may decide to appoint an independent deputy instead.

What will the Court of Protection consider when Deputy Applications are disputed? 

The Court of Protection will be reluctant to appoint someone who lacks capacity or availability, whose motives may be questionable or someone with a chequered past. The Court of Protection will weigh up all factors and will make an appointment based on suitability. If it is inappropriate to appoint any availability family members, the Court of Protection may appoint a professional firm as Deputies to manage property and financial affairs.

How can Howell Jones help?

Understanding the contentious side of the Court of Protection process and its legal implications is rarely simple. In some families, there may be significant hostility and allegations arising from all sides. It is therefore essential to seek legal guidance and support from experienced professionals who specialise in Court of Protection matters.

If you have been notified of an application for a deputyship order and would like to contest it, please contact Juliet Petchey or Lynn Sutton-Bunnell who will be delighted to help.

our lawyers deliver an excellent quality service, independently recognised by The Law Society and our many returning clients.

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