14th May 2021
14th May 2021
It is a common misconception that once a Professional Deputy is appointed by the Court, this cannot be changed. However people can, and more importantly do, change their Professional Deputy. This can be for many reasons, but any decision made will always have the protected party “P” and their best interests at the centre.
Before we get into this, what is a professional deputy?
A deputy is someone appointed by the Court of Protection to deal with the affairs of a person who lacks the mental capacity to do so themselves. Becoming a Deputy involves taking on a huge amount of responsibility on behalf of someone else.
Although anybody over the age of 18 can apply to become a Deputy (subject to approval by the Court) in the more complex cases or those involving large sums of money the court may prefer to appoint a Professional Deputy.
A Professional Deputy will tend to have more knowledge and experience of the work a Deputy is expected to do on behalf of P. A Professional Deputy will also be able to devote more time to their duties as Deputy and will in most cases have the assistance of a team of solicitors and other lawyers to help in the running of the Deputyship. This is in contrast to a non-professional (Lay) Deputy who perhaps has the challenge of balancing a Deputyship alongside their own work and family commitments.
A fundamental part of the Deputy’s role is to always act in the best interests of their client, this is a legal requirement under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. A Professional Deputy as an outside party can effectively make these decisions without the pressure a family member acting as Deputy may feel when making what could be a controversial decision within the family home.
In short, ‘handing the baton’ to a professional deputy can help families take some of the pressures off, and they can be safe in the knowledge that the professional deputy can ensure that the P receives only the best care and financial support.
So, why might someone wish to change their professional deputy?
There are many reasons why a change in deputy may be a good option, for example, the Professional Deputy may retire, or relocate out of the area.
There could also be other more serious reasons to consider a change in Deputy, such as a breakdown in the relationship between P and the Deputy or even in some cases unsatisfactory service or conduct by the Deputy. Though thankfully these cases are extremely rare!
A good relationship between the Deputy and P, and even the P’s family, is essential for an effective Deputyship with the client’s best interests at heart. A good relationship and trust are vital for a successful Deputyship.
Okay, great! How do I change my deputy?
Whatever the reason for wanting a change in Deputy, an application must be made to the Court of Protection to action this. Whilst this application is being processed, the current order will remain in place, meaning that the current Deputy will still be acting.
The Court’s primary concern in this regard is that the client’s best interests are central to any decision made.
The process can take a few months, however many professional deputies are happy to cooperate and assist with the transition from one deputy to another which can help to speed up the process.
How can BHP help me?
Here at BHP Law, we have a friendly and expert Court of Protection team who specialise in both Health and Welfare and Property and Affairs Deputyships.
With offices throughout the North East our diverse team is able to provide a bespoke and personal approach to our Deputyship clients, putting their wishes and feelings at the centre of every decision and promoting their independence and individuality at every opportunity.
At BHP we are passionate about our clients and provide only the highest standards of client care, if you or a family member would like more information on changing or applying for a Professional Deputyship, our team would be more than happy to help!
To find out more, or to contact our team for a free, confidential and informal chat with no obligation please contact us on 01325 466 794 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.