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How to Become a Personal Welfare Deputy

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

A personal welfare deputy makes important decisions on behalf of someone who lacks the mental capacity to make decisions by themselves.

The Court of Protection appoints personal welfare deputies by granting a court order providing the deputy with authority to make these decisions.

What Does the Court of Protection Do?

The Court of Protection makes decisions on financial and welfare matters for people who can’t make decisions for themselves because they lack the mental capacity to do so.

The Court of Protection will decide if someone has capacity to make a decision for themselves, whether to appoint a deputy or authorise someone to make a one off decision.

The Court may therefore choose to appoint a personal welfare deputy to help look after the interests of someone who lacks capacity. The court can also appoint professionals as deputies, including solicitors.

When Should You Apply?

The Court will appoint a Personal Welfare Deputy if it considers it is in the person who lacks capacity’s best interests to do so. That person must also be aged 16 or over.

You need to be able to show the Court that the informal decision-making process has not been working.

The Code of Practice gives the following examples of when a Personal Welfare Deputy may be required:

  • Disputes in the family that are having a detrimental effect on their loved one’s care and this will continue unless one specific person is appointed to make decisions
  • When someone has a particular medical condition which requires continual assessments or treatment and there is clear evidence that a family member is well placed to communicate their wishes and feelings and make decisions on their behalf but have not been consulted

How Must a Personal Welfare Deputy Act?

A personal welfare deputy must consider the mental capacity of the person on whose behalf they are acting every time they make a decision for them.

They cannot assume that their mental capacity is the same at all times for all things.

They may lack the capacity to make some decisions, but not others.

This is what the Mental Capacity Act says:

  • You should assume a person has the capacity to make a decision, unless it is proved otherwise
  • Help someone make their own decisions wherever possible
  • If they make an unwise decision, do not use this as the basis to treat them as lacking the capacity to make a decision
  • It must be in someone’s best interests if you make a decision on their behalf
  • Any treatment or care that is provided to the person should find the least restrictive option regarding their rights and freedom

How Do You Apply?

The UK Government website has a downloadable application form to become a deputy.

There is a £371 application fee, plus an annual supervision fee to the Office of the Public guardian

We Can Help

We can advise you what the likelihood of being appointed as a welfare deputy is based on your personal circumstances and we can submit an application to the Court of Protection on your behalf, for you to become a deputy and support you with the information you need to carry out the role of personal welfare deputy.

For more information about how we work with the Court of Protection, and how we can help you care for relatives or loved ones, please call 0808 088 6004, or complete our online contact form, and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Gemma White


Gemma White


Gemma is a Solicitor in the Private Client team at our Northampton office. She assists the team on a variety of matters including Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Estates.