A first application for the appointment of a deputy can take over six months from the date of issue to be granted. The delay could arise due to the Applicant overlooking one of the procedural steps.
Under the Mental Health Act 1983 procedure, the court can appoint an interim deputy. This is done where, for instance, a deputy needs to be appointed urgently to take control of the estate and report to the court. An emergency order can be used for any of the following reasons-
- Where there is a real risk of assets being lost or subject to financial abuse.
- Access to funds in order to pay nursing home or care fees.
- To meet a liability to pay for the maintenance of a dependant.
- To purchase a property.
- To sell a property.
This would stop the necessity of lodging a detailed paper application thus allowing the court to make an interim order “pending the deterimation of a full application”.
The court would be in a position to appoint an interim deputy with limited powers, usually with the appointment being for a set period of time.
If in doubt the applicant should seek assistance from an existing deputy with regards to the merit of making an emergency order to appoint an interim deputy.