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1950s Looking Back At Laws During The Coronation : The Court of Protection

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

The Court of Protection

The 1950s saw an increasing awareness into the need to look after those who were unable to manage their own property and welfare or had lost capacity.

The Court of Protection as we know it today was established in 1947 replacing its predecessor the Office of the Master in Lunacy. The concept of looking after those who were unable to manage their own affairs was not a new concept and had existed for centuries in different forms.

However, it was in the 1950s a greater emphasis was placed on understanding people’s mental health conditions with the introduction of the first Mental Health Act in 1959 that repealed centuries of legislation that referred to looking after “lunatics” and those with “lunacy” and sought to provide better treatment and understanding to individuals who lacked capacity.

In the following decades and significantly in 2007 when the Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force, the Court of Protection and Office of the Public Guardian became two separate organisations that set out the legal framework and system we have in place today.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 promotes and safeguards decision making by empowering people to make their own decisions where possible, plan ahead and protect the vulnerable.

How does this affect you in 2022?

Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) – Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney

  • The OPG register lasting and enduring powers of attorney as well as then supervising attorneys, deputies, and guardians and investigating any reports of abuse.
  • Anyone can arrange a Power of Attorney which is a legal document where a person or ‘donor’ appoints a person(s) who must be over the age of 18 to make decisions on their behalf should they lose capacity or become unable to manage decisions regarding their health and welfare or property and financial affairs.

The Court of Protection (COP) – Deputyships

  • The COP assists in deciding whether someone has the mental capacity to continue making decisions for themselves.
  • If it is found they do not, the Court can appoint deputies to make decisions on behalf of that person or appoint a panel deputy if there is no one else suitable to act.
  • The Court can also make specific one-off decisions in the person’s best interest.
  • The deputy is then supervised by the OPG and the deputy must act in the best interests of the person who has lost capacity. When making decisions regarding their property and affairs or care and welfare.

At Wilson Browne, we are able to assist you with preparing a Power of Attorney in the event that you become unable to make decisions temporarily or if you lose capacity or assist with application to the Court of Protection on behalf of a loved one.

We also have our own panel deputy who can be appointed by the Court and act on behalf of a family whose loved one may have lost capacity and need assistance with managing their finances and care.

For more information about our Court of Protection team call 0800 088 6004.