Q: My father is in hospital and unable to communicate after a stroke. Previously in good health, he never felt the need to set up a power of attorney. Now I need to deal with his affairs and make decisions on his behalf, particularly as there is COVID in the hospital where he is. I know I need to make an application to be his attorney, but I’m not confident about how to do it and, due to the situation, I cannot afford to waste time getting it wrong. Please can you advise?
A: It is unfortunate that your father did not take the precaution of setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney when the coronavirus pandemic began, as applying on behalf of someone who has lost mental capacity is much more difficult
You will need to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a deputy. This involves completing application form COP1, COP1A, ,an assessment of capacity form (COP3) which will usually need to be completed by a medical professional, deputy’s declaration form (COP4) and a witness statement setting out any evidence which may assist the Court (COP24). You will then need to send the application to the Court along with the relevant fee.
Whilst there are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (one for property and financial affairs and one for health and welfare) it is very unusual for the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy to make decisions relating to someone’s health and welfare unless the application is made in relation to a specific issue or there is a history of disagreements regarding a person’s care. You could, however, make an application in relation to property and finances.
Given the urgency of this case, it may be wise to ask a solicitor to make an application for you to avoid any mistakes which will delay the process further.
Article August 2020
This question has been answered by Jessica Wright, a Solicitor with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients. In accordance with government guidelines, most of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.
Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry, please use the ‘Contact us’ form on the website or call Oswestry 01691 659194 or Wrexham 01978 291456. As a firm, you will appreciate that we are still extremely busy, and whilst our colleagues are well equipped to work remotely, due to current circumstances work may be interrupted – however cases are still ongoing and will be prioritised by urgency and need. Stay safe and thank you for your support.