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What is the Court of Protection?

The Court of Protection

The Court of Protection (COP) is the specialist court for all issues relating to people who lack capacity to make specific decisions.

What the Court does

Under the Mental Capacity Act (see the section What is mental capacity? for more information), the COP has the power to:

  • Make decisions about the personal welfare or property and affairs of people who lack the capacity to make the decisions themselves;
  • Make declarations about a person's capacity to make a decision, if the matter of whether they can make a decision can't be resolved informally;
  • Make decisions about serious medical treatment cases that relate to providing, withdrawing or withholding treatment to a person who lacks capacity;
  • Appoint a deputy (What is a deputy?) to make ongoing decisions on behalf of a person who lacks capacity, in relation to either the person's health and welfare or property and financial affairs; and
  • Make decisions about a lasting power of attorney or an enduring power of attorney, including whether the power is valid, objections to registration, scope of attorney powers and removal of attorney powers.

Why you might need to apply to the Court

There are a number of reasons why you might need to apply to the COP for an order to be made. You might want to object to the registration of a PoA, apply to be made a deputy or to make some other decision involving a PoA. The COP application forms are all available at 'Court of Protections Forms and Guidance' and they each include extensive guidance notes to assist with all you need to know to make the application.

What is the law guide

The Desktop Lawyer law guide aims to present the law to you in a comprehensive yet jargon-free and easy-to-read format. Our law guide is constantly kept up to date with changes in business and family law by our team of in house solicitors, and includes information across all the legal jurisdictions in the UK.

Our law guide is free to use. Where we provide documents related to this area of law, or where they may help you with any legal issue in this area, they will be listed to the right of this message.