Court of Protection
The Court of Protection is a specialist court for all issues relating to people who lack capacity to make specific decisions. The Court makes decisions and appoints deputies to make decisions in the best interests of those who lack capacity to do so.
The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005
The MCA for England and Wales provides a framework to empower and protect people who may lack capacity to make some decisions for themselves. It makes it clear who can take decisions in which situations, and how they should go about this. It also allows people to plan ahead for a time when they may lack capacity.
It covers major decisions about someone's property and affairs, healthcare treatment and where the person lives, as well as everyday decisions about personal care (such as what the person eats), where the person lacks capacity to make those decisions themselves.
There are five key principles in the Act:
- Every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and must be assumed to have capacity to make them unless it is proved otherwise.
- A person must be given all practicable help before anyone treats them as not being able to make their own decisions.
- Just because an individual makes what might be seen as an unwise decision, they should not be treated as lacking capacity to make that decision.
- Anything done or any decision made on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done in their best interests.
- Anything done for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms.
Court appointed Deputies can deal directly with the Court Funds Office and can make payments in and out depending on their court order, using the forms supplied in the CFO Deputies guidance pack.