The Court of Protection has recently announced plans to shift more costs onto those individuals who have been appointed as deputies.
The court believes that Judges should have greater leeway to make relatives cover the costs in disputes relating to an individual who has lost the capacity to manage their affairs.
This approach, which is a departure from the current system of covering the cost from the estate of the individual to whom the case relates, has prompted debate among a number of influential legal bodies.
Karon Walton, the director of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), said: “[The changes] could mean that incapacitated individuals may not have to bear the costs of disputes over their property and affairs and instead, costs could be directed towards applicants or parties involved in the dispute.’
Emily Deane, from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) also supported the move to give the courts more flexibility, arguing that it could offer greater protection to vulnerable individuals and deter wasteful legal action.
“In these cases, the court should have the capability to order the parties to pay their own costs and subsequently, appoint a third-party deputy to act in their place,” she said.
At Lester Morrill, our specialist Court of Protection solicitors are experienced in working with vulnerable individuals and their families, friends and care teams to ensure the best possible outcome. We currently manage cases involving private clients, solicitors, local authorities, referrals from the court and case managers. We also advise on matters relating to health and welfare, receiving referrals from family members and advocates. Please contact our team for further information.