Deputyship—the deputy’s duties and powers
Deputyship—the deputy’s duties and powers

The following Private Client guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Deputyship—the deputy’s duties and powers
  • Duties
  • Powers
  • Failure to comply with their duties

Duties

The duties of court-appointed deputies are set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005) and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice (MCA 2005 Code of Practice). Further duties are set out in the deputy’s declaration in Form COP4 and general duties under the law of agency also apply.

The deputyship order

A deputy has a duty to act only within the specific scope of the powers granted by the court, as set out in the order of appointment.

In situations where the deputy considers that the powers set out in the order of appointment are insufficient to discharge their duties effectively, they must make an application to the court (using Form COP1 and witness statement on Form COP24) to either:

  1. ask the court to make the decision in question,

    or

  2. ask the court to vary the powers set out in the order of appointment

See Practice Note: The deputyship order.

MCA 2005—the statutory principles

All deputies must act in accordance with the five statutory principles set out under MCA 2005, s 1. These principles are as follows:

  1. the person who lacks capacity (P) must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that they lack capacity

  2. P is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help them to do so have been