Court of Protection disputes and applications

Our specialist team of Court of Protection dispute solicitors handles all manner of Court of Protection disputes.

Our Court of Protection disputes expertise includes:

  • disputing applications for deputyships;
  • disputing lasting power of attorney applications;
  • removing deputies;
  • removing attorneys;
  • challenging gifts made by attorneys;
  • challenging gifts made by deputies;
  • disputed statutory will applications;
  • challenging the actions of property and financial affairs attorneys or deputies;
  • challenging the actions of health and welfare attorneys or deputies;
  • advising regarding Office of the Public Guardian investigations; and
  • general applications to the Court of Protection.

We know that legal costs can be a concern which is why we offer free, no-obligation consultations and flexible pricing options, tailored to your needs. 

Statutory Wills
 
For Individuals | Private Wealth | Court of Protection Statutory Wills

A statutory will is a will made on behalf of a person who lacks the mental capacity to make a will themselves, upon application to the Court of Protection.

The guidance is set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and any statutory will must be made in the person’s best interests. The Court of Protection will therefore want to ensure that, in making an application for a statutory will, the following has been considered:

the person’s past and present wishes and feelings (and, in particular, any relevant written statement made by them when they had capacity);
the beliefs and values that would be likely to influence their decision if they had capacity; and the other factors that they would be likely to consider if they were able to do so.

If you are likely to be affected by a statutory will application then you are entitled to respond and have your say. We are able to advise you whether you wish to prepare a statutory will on someone’s behalf, want to dispute a statutory will application or need to defend a challenge to a statutory will.

Disputed deputyship and attorney applications
 
For individuals | Private Wealth | Court of Protection Disputed Deputyships

Court of Protection Disputed Deputyships

A deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks the mental capacity to make those decisions themselves.

An attorney is a person who has been chosen by a donor (the person making the appointment) to deal with the donor’s affairs should they lose mental capacity. An attorney was previously appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney. Since 1 October 2007, a person can appoint an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Both a deputy and an attorney can be appointed to help a person who lacks capacity with the following:

  • property and affairs
  • welfare.

For whatever reason, sometimes there are doubts over whether the person proposed to act as a deputy or attorney is fit to do so.

Our team is experienced in dealing with disputes which may arise over the appointment of a deputy or attorney. Whether you are the proposed deputy or attorney facing a challenge or you have concerns about the person who is intending to become, or is already, a deputy or attorney our team of expert solicitors are on hand to offer you the legal advice and guidance you need.

For Individuals | Private Wealth | Court of Protection Statutory Wills

A statutory will is a will made on behalf of a person who lacks the mental capacity to make a will themselves, upon application to the Court of Protection.

The guidance is set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and any statutory will must be made in the person’s best interests. The Court of Protection will therefore want to ensure that, in making an application for a statutory will, the following has been considered:

the person’s past and present wishes and feelings (and, in particular, any relevant written statement made by them when they had capacity);
the beliefs and values that would be likely to influence their decision if they had capacity; and the other factors that they would be likely to consider if they were able to do so.

If you are likely to be affected by a statutory will application then you are entitled to respond and have your say. We are able to advise you whether you wish to prepare a statutory will on someone’s behalf, want to dispute a statutory will application or need to defend a challenge to a statutory will.

For individuals | Private Wealth | Court of Protection Disputed Deputyships

Court of Protection Disputed Deputyships

A deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks the mental capacity to make those decisions themselves.

An attorney is a person who has been chosen by a donor (the person making the appointment) to deal with the donor’s affairs should they lose mental capacity. An attorney was previously appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney. Since 1 October 2007, a person can appoint an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Both a deputy and an attorney can be appointed to help a person who lacks capacity with the following:

  • property and affairs
  • welfare.

For whatever reason, sometimes there are doubts over whether the person proposed to act as a deputy or attorney is fit to do so.

Our team is experienced in dealing with disputes which may arise over the appointment of a deputy or attorney. Whether you are the proposed deputy or attorney facing a challenge or you have concerns about the person who is intending to become, or is already, a deputy or attorney our team of expert solicitors are on hand to offer you the legal advice and guidance you need.

Key contact

Roman is a partner and head of the contested wills, trusts and estates team. He advises across the whole spectrum of private client litigation, with a particular focus on high value, complex and cross-border disputes including: trust disputes, breach of trust claims and applications to remove trustees; will disputes, particularly those with an international element; claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975; and claims for equitable relief under proprietary estoppel, constructive trusts and resulting trusts.

View team

Our experience

Applications to remove Court of Protection deputy or attorney

We have successfully acted for deputies and attorneys in actions by family members to have them removed and have also represented family members in actions to remove deputies and attorneys. This includes representing clients throughout the Court of Protection process including at case management conferences, Dispute Resolution Hearings and final hearings as well as with costs assessment.

Application to set aside gifts made by attorney

We were successful in setting aside a number of gifts made by an attorney from the donor’s funds. We were able to resolve the matter without needing to issue formal proceedings at the Court of Protection.

Applications for permission

We have represented numerous attorneys and deputies in applications for permission to make gifts, investments and any other steps which require Court of Protection approval.

Advising executors and beneficiaries in relation to lifetime transfers

We have advised executors and beneficiaries where questionable lifetime transfers have been discovered in a deceased estate. We have successfully recovered assets misappropriated during lifetime and had parties account for assets received by them during lifetime.

Hugh James acts for family in successful disputed statutory will application

Eleanor Goodridge successfully represented the family of a person who had lost capacity and whose last purported will did not appear to reflect her wishes and which, the family suspected, was made at a time when the person had already lost capacity.

The matter was especially urgent as the protected party was facing imminent death. Eleanor was able to make an application on an urgent basis to the Court of Protection to put in place a new, statutory will, which properly reflected the party’s wishes.

Your questions answered

Do you offer free consultations?

 

Yes. We offer a free 20 minute telephone consultation.

Do you offer “no win, no fee” agreements?

 

In many cases we’re able to offer a range of flexible pricing options including “no win, no fee” agreements, fixed fees and deferred payment arrangements depending on each case.

Some cases may also be suitable for “After the Event” insurance funding which provide cover for the cost of disbursements such as court and expert fees as well as protecting you from any potential adverse costs order.

Contact us now to find out more.

How quickly can you resolve my Court of Protection dispute?

 

Each case is unique and so how quickly your case might be resolved depends on the particular circumstances. However, with one of the largest Court of Protection Disputes teams in the UK with over 50 years’ combined experience in dealing with Court of Protection disputes, and with recognised leaders in the field, we pride ourselves on being able to resolve your dispute as quickly as possible.

How do you remove an attorney?

 

An attorney is someone who has been chosen by a person, known as the donor, to deal with their affairs, usually, though not always, in the event that the donor loses mental capacity. Since 1 October 2007, a person can appoint an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney. Before then, attorneys were appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney.

Attorneys can be appointed to act jointly or severally (i.e. together or individually) and can either deal with a person’s property and financial affairs, health and welfare or both

Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, it is possible to apply to the Court of Protection to remove an attorney or deputy.

How to remove an attorney depends on whether or not the donor retains mental capacity. If the donor has mental capacity then they can simply revoke the power of attorney.

If the donor has lost capacity then you need to apply to the Court of Protection to remove an attorney.

Our solicitors have significant experience in removing attorneys.

Please see our video titled 'Disputed deputyship and attorney applications' above for further information.

How do you remove a deputy?

 

A deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of someone, known as the protected party, who lacks the mental capacity to make those decisions for themselves.

Deputies can deal with a person’s property and financial affairs, health and welfare or both. Their powers and duties are set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005, related guidance and any orders made by the Court of Protection.

As to how to remove a deputy where there is a dispute, this requires an application to the Court of Protection to revoke their appointment.

The Court of Protection must be satisfied that the deputy has behaved, is behaving or proposes to behave in a way that breaches their authority or is otherwise not in the best interests of the protected party.

Our solicitors have significant experience in removing deputies.

Please see our video titled 'Disputed deputyship and attorney applications' above for further information.

What are the grounds to remove an attorney or deputy?

 

Examples of behaviour which often warrants an application to revoke a power of attorney or remove a deputy are:

  1. a failure to keep proper accounts or financial records;
  2. where joint attorneys are unable to work together;
  3. where the attorney or deputy has authorised large gifts to be made out of the person’s funds (see ‘How can I challenge gifts made by an attorney or deputy? below’); or
  4. where they are clearly not acting in the person's best interests.

We have significant experience in dealing with Court of Protection disputes which may arise over the appointment or removal of a deputy or attorney.

Whether you are the proposed deputy or attorney facing a challenge or you have concerns about the person who is intending to become, or is already, a deputy or attorney, our team of solicitors are on hand to offer you legal advice and guidance.

How can I challenge gifts made by an attorney or deputy?

 

Assuming the attorney or deputy is unwilling or unable to revoke the gifts then an application to the Court of Protection to set aside the gifts may be needed.

Alternatively, if you are an attorney or deputy who has made gifts which are now being challenged it is possible to apply to the Court of Protection for retrospective approval.

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