At Owen White & Caitlin, our solicitors have been helping families in the Court of Protection for many years. We have vast experience of all types of welfare cases relating to vulnerable individuals, from children to the elderly. We’re committed to supporting our clients by offering a personal and responsive service, providing advice tailored to their unique circumstances and delivering effective representation.
Below we provide an overview of the Court of Protection and some of the work we do there. If you’d like to find out more or talk through your situation and how we can help, please contact our approachable team.
What is the Court of Protection?
The Court of Protection is a specialist court at High Holborn that only hears matters relating to the property and affairs or personal welfare of someone who lacks mental capacity. The High Holborn Court often passes work to a number of other outside courts. Someone lacks mental capacity if they are unable to make decisions for themselves, usually because of an illness, such as dementia, a serious brain injury or through a disability. Matters relating to children who are under the age of 16 may also be determined in the Court of Protection if it is established that they are likely to continue to lack capacity when they become 18 years old.
What Powers does the Court of Protection have?
The Court of Protection has various powers and roles relating to people who lack capacity, all of which must be exercised in each vulnerable person’s best interests. These include:
- making decisions on someone’s behalf about their personal welfare, such as the medical treatment they receive, where they will live and who they can have contact with;
- making decisions on someone’s behalf about their financial affairs, such as the control and management of their property, completing tax returns, the carrying on of a business and the execution of a Will (including an application for a Statutory Will if one does not have capacity to write or change their own Will);
- appointing a deputy to make on-going decisions on someone’s behalf, whether in relation to their finances, health (though it can often be very difficult to obtain ongoing health decisions, the Court of Protection preferring specific issues decided at the time) or both, who can be a friend or relative, a professional such as a solicitor or a local authority;
- making declarations about the lawfulness of acts done, or yet to be done, in relation to someone who lacks capacity;
- determining whether a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is valid, such as whether it was created due to fraud or undue pressure, or if the power has been revoked or otherwise come to an end, such as because the attorney is not acting within their authority, and the Office of the Public Guardian could undertake this work and a report of suspected fraud can be made by anyone to the OPG; and
- authorising a person’s deprivation of liberty via detention in a hospital or care home, either on a standard or urgent basis, usually an application made by the local authority, though sometimes by care homes on an interim basis. A Personal Representative would be appointed to assist with these.
Our Work in the Court of Protection
We are highly experienced in all aspects of the Court of Protection. We regularly help clients decide what action needs to be taken, assist them to make applications that are tailored to their situation and provide representation during proceedings. We also help clients to make sure their voice is heard by intervening when another body, such as social services or the NHS, makes an application in relation to a family member. Whatever situation you are facing, we handle each and every matter with the sensitivity and care that delicate family matters such as these require.
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Contact our Court of Protection Solicitors in London, Surrey and Middlesex
Established in 1921, Owen White & Catlin have been providing services throughout South West London, Surrey and Middlesex for many years. Our offices are staffed by teams of expert solicitors and support staff, making it easy for you to get in touch when you need us. Contact us using our online