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Mental Capacity

Welfare Deputyships

Our leading Court of Protection solicitors can help you become a welfare deputy to make decisions on behalf of a loved one who lacks mental capacity.

When someone lacks mental capacity, they may be unable to make important decisions about their life. This can include welfare decisions such as where they should live, who they should live with, and about their day-to-day care.

Someone might be unable to make this kind of decision if, for example:

  • They’ve had a serious brain injury or illness
  • They have dementia
  • They have severe learning disabilities.

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 gives parents, family members and friends the right to be consulted about decisions made for people who lack mental capacity.

This often works as intended, but there are growing concerns from families and disability rights campaigners about how well the Act is being applied.

More and more people are choosing to become welfare deputies to make sure that their loved ones’ best interests are respected. A welfare deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection and can make certain decisions on behalf of a person who doesn’t have the mental capacity to do so themselves.

Welfare deputyship is helpful for families in lots of situations. For example, it can help ensure that you remain the ‘decision-maker’ for your child when they turn 18. It is also helpful if you have difficulty getting information from health care providers about your loved one or if you feel that you aren’t being included in best interest decisions.

Whatever your situation, we can help you make sure that the best decisions are made for the people you care about.

Our Court of Protection team is ranked as the best in the UK by independent ranking organisations Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. We also have offices in 14 cities across the UK so we can help wherever you are based.

If you would like to be appointed as a welfare deputy, contact us online or call our friendly team on 0800 028 1943 to find out more.

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Welfare Deputyships - More Information
    • What Is The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005?
    • The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) is the law which sets out how decisions must be made on behalf of people who lack mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. It means that any decision made on behalf of such a person must be made in their best interests.

      People involved with this decision-making process could include family members, advocates (including Independent Mental Capacity Advocates), care home managers and other care organisations.

      In the vast majority of cases, all involved parties can agree on a decision by following the 'best interests' decision making process under the MCA. However, when a serious dispute arises under the MCA, cases can be referred to the Court of Protection for a decision.

    • What Is The Court of Protection?
    • The Court of Protection helps people who are unable to make their own decisions due to a lack of mental capacity. It does this by making decisions for them about their money, property, health or welfare.

      If these decisions need to be made on an ongoing basis, the Court can appoint someone (known as a deputy) to make them. We can help you become appointed as a deputy or act as a deputy ourselves.

      Read more about the Court of Protection

    • What Does Lacking Mental Capacity Mean?
    • Mental capacity is defined by someone's ability to make a decision. In order to have the capacity to make a decision, someone must be able to:

      • Understand what the decision involves
      • Remember information long enough to make a decision about it
      • Use and weigh up the information to reach a decision
      • Communicate the decision

      If an adult is able to do all of these things, they have sufficient mental capacity to make a decision.

    • Meet The Experts
    • Irwin Mitchell's team of mental capacity solicitors is ranked first in the country by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, organisations that survey and evaluate lawyers and firms around the world. A number of individuals in the team are also ranked highly:-

      • Yogi Amin - "a ground-breaking lawyer, always looking for new areas where vulnerable clients need help" who is highlighted for his "huge amount of experience in Court of Protection work." - Chambers & Partners 2017
      • Alex Rook - "a really strong and well-respected lawyer" with "huge amount of expertise" - Chambers & Partners 2017
      • Anne-Marie Irwin - "very good - she's on the ball and always on top of the facts, even in difficult and complex cases" - Chambers & Partners 2017
      • Polly Sweeney - "a clear voice in the often chaotic world of SEN and public law." - Chambers & Partners 2017
      • Mathieu Culverhouse - "very approachable, very thorough and an excellent solicitor." - Chambers & Partners, 2017

      We are also members of the Court of Protection Practitioners Association.

      Meet our mental capacity team.

Without Irwin Mitchell challenging the Local Authority we would still be awaiting an answer.”

Client's Father
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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should I Choose Irwin Mitchell For My Mental Capacity Case?

Our experienced team of mental capacity solicitors are national leaders in mental capacity disputes.

We have been involved in a number of the leading mental capacity case, including the landmark Cheshire West Supreme Court case, in which we represented the mother of the man at the centre of the proceedings.

We are regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor, Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs) and care organisations, who come to us because they trust our dedication and expertise in this field.

Our expert lawyers have experience in mediation and in negotiating solutions in hotly disputed cases, both inside and outside the Court of Protection. As a full service law firm, we also offer a wide variety of other services that can be helpful for individuals with reduced mental capacity, such as a representation in healthcare and human rights disputes or help with personal injury trusts.

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What is a welfare deputy?

A welfare deputy can be appointed to make decisions about medical treatments, living arrangements and other welfare issues on behalf of someone else. You can apply to be someone’s welfare deputy if they don’t have the mental capacity to make these decisions themselves.

A welfare deputy must comply with the MCA when making decisions. This includes consulting with others and attempting to reach an agreement about what is in the person’s best interests.

If you’d like to learn more about being a welfare deputy for someone you know, please talk to our experts on 0800 028 1943.

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We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.


Private Client Team of the Year - Legal Business Awards 2017 Leading Firm - Legal 500 2017 UK Chambers & Partners Leading Firm 2018

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