If someone you care for lacks sufficient mental capacity to prepare a power of attorney then in order to assist them with their affairs you can make an application to the Court of Protection for a 'deputy order'. A deputy order can authorise you to control that person's money including paying their bills, doing their shopping, managing their investments and paying any care fees amongst other things. A deputy must always act in the best interests of the person whose finances they are controlling and comply with the specific terms of the Order granting them authority. A deputy can be a friend or family member, or a professional such as a solicitor.
Although emergency applications can be made when needed, it often takes approximately 4-6 months to finalise an application for a deputy order. The Court must be supplied with details of the person's personal situation (for example, their relatives, who visits them, where they live and their assets and liabilities) and they will not consider an application without medical evidence confirming that the person involved lacks sufficient capacity to make their own decisions.
Quite often applications to the Court are finalised without the need for a formal hearing, with most matters resolved by witness statements and additional evidence where necessary.
We assist with any Court of Protection matters on a 'time spent' basis. We charge £160.00 plus VAT per hour and will always try and give you an estimate of what our total fees will be as this will be dependent on the specific situation.