My parent/relative has lost capacity to make decisions – what can I do to help them?

While the best way for your parent or loved one to protect themselves in the event of a loss of capacity is to ensure that they have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place, sometimes capacity is lost before they have a chance to apply for one.

In the event that your parent or relative loses mental capacity before applying for an LPA, you must apply for a deputyship from the Court of Protection (CoP).

Deputyship applications can be time-consuming, stressful, and expensive – potentially costing families thousands of pounds in legal and court fees. An application typically takes around four months to be approved by the Court, but can take much longer. Meanwhile, decisions over an individual’s long-term care and finances are frozen.

To act as a ‘deputy’ for your parent or relative’s affairs, you must provide the CoP with medical evidence of the loss of capacity, as well as lodging an extensive application and arranging the necessary insurance.

A specialist solicitor can help you to gather the required documents and complete the forms correctly, and can also act as a deputy if you prefer not to take on this role yourself.