MENTAL CAPACITY ACT – UNDERSTANDING LPA & DEPUTYSHIP

Should I get a Deputyship or LPA? What are the differences between a Deputyship under the Mental Capacity Act and a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

DEPUTYSHIP OR LPA?

It is important to know the difference between applying for a Deputyship under the Mental Capacity Act and making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

An LPA is a legal document that allows a person who is at least 21 years old to voluntarily appoint a donee or multiple donees to make decisions and act on his behalf if he loses his mental capacity.

Deputyship is used if a person has lost mental capacity and did not make an LPA. Someone (usually a family member) requests the Family Court to give the family member the power to make decisions on their behalf.

If a family member still has the mental capacity to grant an LPA, this is definitely the best option.  Here are the reasons:

  • an LPA allows the person making it to choose who they want to make decisions on their behalf. So the person making the LPA chooses who will look after them.
  • LPAs are substantially cheaper than applying to the court for a deputyship.
  • An LPA takes only a couple of days to complete.  On the other hand, applying to the court to appoint a Deputy takes about 6 months.
  • Disputes may arise between family members over who is to become the Deputy.
  • Making an LPA will spare our loved ones the stressful and costlier process of obtaining a court order to be appointed as a Deputy.

If a family member has already lost the mental capacity to make an LPA, doing an LPA is no longer possible. Applying to the Family Court to be appointed as a Deputy is the only option.

DEPUTIES

A Deputy is appointed by the court to make certain decisions on behalf of a person who lacks mental capacity when the person has not made a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

Parents of children with intellectual disabilities may also apply to the court to appoint themselves as deputies for their children and another person as a successor deputy to plan if the parents themselves lose capacity or pass away.

OUR FEES FOR LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY

Lasting Power of Attorney – $300

OUR FEES TO APPOINT A DEPUTY UNDER THE MENTAL CAPACITY ACT

  • $2,900 – iFAMS application (restricted to the use of monies below $60,000).
  • $3,900 – regular applications (where the use of monies can be above $60,000).
  • Our fees are applicable if there is no dispute among family members.
  • Disbursements and GST are payable.
  • Application takes about 6 months.