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Power of Attorney and Deputyship – What’s the Difference?

The number of people with dementia is increasing because people are living longer and as a result Power of Attorneys and Court of Protection deputyships are becoming more and more important.

In her video, Lesley Rushton, Head of Private Client at Girlings Solicitors explains the difference between a Lasting Power of Attorney and a Court of Protection ‘Deputyship’. Lesley has specialised in matters relating to Wills and inheritance as well as Power of Attorney and Court of Protection for over 25 years. Girlings’ Private Client team is recognised as a leading Firm by the Legal 500 and is accredited by the Law Society. Lesley is also a Legal 500 recommended Lawyer.

As Lesley explains, a Power of Attorney appointment is where the individual has the capacity to draw up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for themselves. There are two types of LPAs: Firstly An LPA for Financial Decisions - to deal with your bills, bank accounts, selling your house etc; And secondly An LPA for Health and Welfare Decisions - to make decisions on life sustaining treatment, care and where you live.

Everyone, young and old, should think ahead and consider setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which appoints a person (or persons) to deal with your property and financial affairs or health and welfare decisions, if you should become incapable of doing so yourself. Your appointed Attorney has a duty to act in your best interests in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act.

Court of Protection Deputyship is entirely different and is used where the person has lost the mental capacity to make the decision who they should appoint as an attorney for themselves. This means that an application has to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy who will make decisions for them. As Lesley explains, Girlings has recently expanded their work in this area. If someone you know has lost mental capacity Girlings’ specialist Court of Protection team can offer expert advice as well as practical support and guidance to help you manage their affairs. They can also offer support and advice to keep your friend or loved one safe and as independent as possible.

Girlings Solicitors’ sister company, Girlings Personal Injury Claims deals with Medical Negligence claims and their clients can be awarded money for their future care. Often in these cases the individuals have unfortunately lost mental capacity and Girlings’ Court of Protection team is asked to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as their deputy to manage the money to pay for their future care needs and future day to living.

Lesley thinks that what makes Girlings different is its approach. First of all the private client team give clients their time - it is not just about coming in for the Will or the LPA. They take time to sit and talk to their clients and understand any concerns or issues they may have. Ultimately it is all about building the client’s trust.

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Lesley Rushton


Chris Brightling

Corporate, Banking & Finance