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What is a Deputy?

There may come a time when a person can no longer make decisions for themselves.  In this situation, someone else - perhaps you - may need to make decisions for them. 


It is usually best for people to choose someone while they can, using what is known as a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).  However, if they haven't done this, then someone can take on this decision-making role by becoming a deputy.

What is the difference between an Attorney and a Deputy?

The critical difference between an attorney and a deputy is the timing of their appointment.

An attorney is an individual you appoint and give a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to act on your behalf in case you lose mental capacity.  You can choose your attorney when you still have mental capacity.

Unlike an attorney, a deputy is an appointee of the Court of Protection to manage your affairs after you lose mental capacity.  The court decides who to appoint as your deputy since you no longer have the ability to do it yourself.

The diagram below sets out the process of becoming a deputy so that you will see what is involved. 

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