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Court of protection solicitors
When someone lacks the mental capacity to make decisions about what may seem the simplest aspects of their life, it can throw up a wide range of issues which can be challenging and stressful for everyone concerned.
The Court of Protection was set up under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to make decisions relating to the property, financial affairs, healthcare and personal welfare of adults who are unable to this for themselves.
To be legally classed as lacking mental capacity, a person must be unable to understand and retain information given to them long enough to make a decision, or weigh up this information to make a decision. In extreme cases, the individual may be incapable of communicating their decision in any way whatsoever, even by simply blinking an eye.
The Court of Protection has the power to decide whether someone has the capacity to make a range of decisions for themselves. If not, then the Court can make declarations, decisions or orders on financial or welfare matters on their behalf.
In Health & Welfare cases the Court of Protection can make a wide range of decision and declarations including the following:
- Where they reside;
- What kind of care they should receive;
- What contact they should or should not have with others;
- Whether they have capacity to marry;
- Whether they have capacity to have sexual relations;
- Whether to have medical treatment (or whether to stop medical treatment).
The Court of Protection also considers whether someone who lacks capacity is deprived of their liberty, and if so, if it in the least restrictive way. Someone who is subject to a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DOLS) has the right to challenge this in the Court of Protection.
Legal Aid is still available for representation in the Court of Protection (often subject to means and merits eligibility criteria).
To visit our Court of Protection blog, click here.
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