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Court of Protection

It is important to safeguard your loved ones. You may be currently concerned about a family member, loved one or friend. Are they forgetful? Do they wander off or no longer take care of their appearance?

Loss of mental capacity – the ability to make your own decisions - affects people of all ages. Causes can include Alzheimer’s, dementia, a stroke, brain injuries (including babies and children), post traumatic stress disorders and even severe learning disabilities. We are experienced in offering assistance with mental capacity assessments.

If someone you know has lost mental capacity our Court of Protection team offers expert advice as well as practical support and guidance to help you manage their affairs.

It can come as a shock to family and friends of the individual to discover, if there is no Lasting Power of Attorney in place, that the law does not give you any special decision making powers and you need make an application to the Court of Protection for a deputyship to manage their affairs. We act as professional deputies for many of our clients and offer many non-professional deputies advice to ensure they comply with the obligations imposed by the Court of Protection

In association with our Legal 500 ranked sister company, Girlings Personal Injury claims, we can also offer you specialist advice on the complex area of Personal Injury Trusts.

Deputyship application

Applications to the Court of Protection can be made for deputyship for Property & Financial affairs as well as deputyship for Health & Welfare.

Applying for a deputyship order is a daunting prospect as the process can be complex and lengthy. Our specialist team is here to help you at this difficult time and our initial consultation is an opportunity for you to talk through your options and ask questions about each stage of the deputyship process.

Professional deputyship management and advice for deputies

We offer a well respected professional deputyship service in which Girlings is appointed as deputy by the Court of Protection to manage the individual’s affairs.

Our dedicated team can also provide expert support for non-professional deputies. We can provide guidance on how to discharge your responsibilities in accordance with the obligations imposed by the Court of Protection.

We focus on the emotional and practical support we provide to the individual, their family and their loved ones. Wherever possible when acting as a professional deputy or when giving advice to a non–professional deputy, our aim is to empower the incapacitated individual to be an active participant in the decision making process.

We also offer the expertise and support of a well respected in-house Independent Financial Advice team.

Statutory Will application

If you want to make (or change) a Will on behalf of someone who cannot do it themselves, then you have to make an application to the Court of Protection for a Statutory Will, asking the Court agree the terms and to authorise the execution of that Will.

This may be because, for example, the individual has had a serious brain injury or illness or because they have dementia. It may be because the vulnerable person has never made a Will before or their estate has reduced or increased significantly in value. A Statutory Will may be required for tax planning purposes or where a beneficiary (or beneficiaries) under an existing will has passed away, or has already received substantial gifts, and the Will needs to be adjusted.

You can apply when the person is not able to understand what making or changing a Will means, how much money they have or what property they own and how making or changing a Will might affect the people they know (either those mentioned in the Will or those left out).

The Court of Protection is required to apply an objective test to assess whether the proposed Statutory Will is in the vulnerable person’s best interests.

The only difference between a Statutory Will and any other Will is that a Statutory Will is authorised by the Court of Protection and signed by the deputy or attorney (appointed under a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney) of the person who lacks capacity.

It is important to remember however, that someone who has lost the mental capacity to manage their finances may still have the ability to make a Will. We will be able to advise you on this and if necessary, arrange for an Independent Capacity Assessment to be obtained. We can also make the Statutory Will application to the Court of Protection for you.

Girlings has offices in Ashford, Canterbury and Herne Bay. Our specialist team is qualified to provide the necessary legal advice whilst being sympathetic and understanding to clients.

Our Experts

Louise Wilson

Head of Department
Court of Protection

Charlotte Nock

Head of Department
Wills, Tax & Estate Administration

Lesley Rushton

Managing Partner
Wills, Tax & Estate Administration

Poppy Cooke

Associate Solicitor
Wills, Tax & Estate Administration

Joshua Parton TEP

Senior Associate Solicitor
Wills, Tax & Estate Administration

Sarah Geering

Senior Associate Solicitor
Wills, Tax & Estate Administration

Ovid Busette

Senior Associate Solicitor
Wills, Tax & Estate Administration

Laura Harvey

Assistant Solicitor
Wills, Tax & Estate Administration

Katie Collis

Assistant Solicitor
Wills, Tax & Estate Administration

Susan Jull

Wills, Tax & Estate Administration Executive
Wills, Tax & Estate Administration

Stephanie Stocker

Assistant Solicitor
Wills, Tax & Estate Administration

Jessie Cloughley

Trainee Solicitor
Corporate, Banking & Finance; Commercial Law

Sophia Wright

Wills, Tax & Estate Administration; Dispute Resolution

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