Deputyship Orders

What is a Deputyship Order?

A deputyship order gives you the ability to make decisions on behalf of someone who has lost the capacity to care for and make decisions for themselves. You might need to apply for a deputyship order when there is no lasting or enduring power of attorney in place.

About Deputyship Orders

  • A deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to be legally responsible for someone who lacks capacity to make decisions for themselves where there is no power of attorney.

  • The lack of capacity may be because of any impairment of or disturbance in the functioning of the mind or brain, such as dementia or a stroke.

  • The Court of Protection's deputyship order will set out the deputy's powers and any restrictions to their powers.

  • The powers can cover the person's finances, property or accommodation, where they live or whether they go into care, their medical treatment and other healthcare issues, their personal welfare, what clothes they wear, and anything needed for their general care and well-being. The powers given depend on the person's needs.

  • If a decision is complex or difficult, the Court of Protection recommends that the deputy takes legal advice. The Court may allow you to recover the fees from the funds of the person lacking capacity.


Becoming a Deputy

  • A deputy must be over 18 and is often a family member or friend, although anyone can apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed.

  • The proposed deputy completes a set of application forms and a suitable practitioner (eg the patient's doctor) completes a medical report. An application fee is payable.

  • A court hearing is not normally required, provided there is no objection to the application.

  • You can employ a professional adviser to help you with the application and with your duties as a deputy (once appointed). Their fees can normally be recovered from the funds of the person lacking capacity.


Deputy's Duties

In addition to the deputyship order appointing them, deputies must also comply with five statutory principles in the Mental Capacity Act 2005:

  • Every adult has the right to make decisions, and must be assumed to have capacity unless it is proven otherwise.

  • People must be given all appropriate help before they can be considered unable to make their own decisions.

  • Individuals have the right to make unwise decisions, including decisions that others may consider eccentric.

  • Anything done for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be in their 'best interests'.

  • Anything done for them or on their behalf should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms.


Deputies have a duty to apply a high standard of care when making decisions.

Taking Advice

Applying for a Deputyship Order is a complex process and not one to undertake without suitable guidance. We recommend that you consult a solicitor if you believe that you have a need for a Deputyship Order.