A Deputyship Order has a very similar effect to a Power of Attorney - in that it gives someone else the ability to look after your affairs on your behalf - sign documents, withdraw money etc.
The big difference is that although a Power of Attorney is something that you set up yourself (if you are the donor, or person giving the power), a Deputyship Order is a court order. It appoints the people making the application (“the Deputies”) to manage the affairs of the person who has lost their capacity (“the Patient”).
Here are a few key facts about Deputyship Orders
A Deputyship Order takes around 7 months to obtain. Compare that to a Lasting Power of Attorney which can be prepared quickly, and then registered within 4 months.
Worse still, it is a much more expensive process than creating and registering a Power of Attorney.
Red Tape and more expense
On top of the initial additional expense there are continuing costs and requirements for the rest of the Patient’s life: insurance bonds to purchase from the court, annual reports to be filed, and every time you want to do something more than pay a bill for the Patient you need to apply to the court for permission (this can involve a £400 court fee, and legal fees too, and yet another long delay every time).
Loss of control
The Court can also appoint anyone who applies on your behalf, not just your family. Unfortunately this can feasibly be someone who you would not necessarily want to deal with your affairs, or even Social Services.
We strongly recommend people make Lasting Powers of Attorney as soon as possible to avoid this potential risk.