4. How to apply
To apply to become a deputy, you will need to submit an application to the Court of Protection. The application process involves providing the court with detailed information regarding the circumstances and finances of the person with dementia.
To apply to be appointed as deputy, you will need to complete the following forms:
- main application form (COP1)
- Annex A: supporting information for property and affairs (COP1A)
- assessment of capacity (COP3)
- deputy's declaration (COP4).
These and further guidance can be obtained from the Court of Protection (see 'Other useful organisations') and found on their website. They may also be able to assist you to complete your application and forms. Alternatively, you can instruct a solicitor to make an application on your behalf, with fees payable by you. You will need the court's permission to pay fees from the funds of the person with dementia. This is usually fixed or limited. It is important that you discuss this with the solicitor at the outset.
The Court of Protection then assesses the suitability of each deputy from the information provided on the application forms.
The application process can be quite lengthy. For standard applications, the court aims to notify you of their decision within 16 weeks of receiving it. However, in more complex cases, or where the court needs to clarify information, it can take a lot longer than this.
It is important to note that if the application is successful, a copy will be kept on record and may be used in the future to provide guidance on certain decisions. For example, if a deputy considers making gifts on the person's behalf, they can refer to the application form and the specific section on gifts to see what the person has given in the past.
A court fee will need to be paid. This money can come from the estate of the person with dementia. If you pay this up front you can claim it back from their finances once you have been made their deputy. For more information about the current fees, contact the Court of Protection or look at their website.