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Contact with Relatives Under Court of Protection Care

Contact With Relatives Under Court Of Protection Care

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The Court of Protection has the authority to decide whether or not a person lacks the mental capacity to make their own decisions.

Focusing on the capacity to make decisions primarily on finance and property, they will sometimes look at those based on health and personal welfare too.

Consequently, if someone is deemed not to have adequate capacity, the Court will always seek to act in their best interests.

As such, the Court of Protection will decide what actions to take and has the power to appoint Deputies. 

Family Matters

Unfortunately, families can often be very complex.

Whilst often having the best of intentions, family members can have very different views of what’s best for a vulnerable person.

With remarrying commonplace, a common issue in this regard is where the vulnerable person’s new partner is in conflict with the children from a previous relationship.

Therefore, the impartiality of a Personal Welfare Deputy, appointed by the Court of Protection from outside the family, can help.

Although they will discuss any issues with the family, their own decision, made specifically on behalf of the protected person, will be the final one.

Contact

All in all, unless the Court of Protection has had someone vulnerable committed under the Mental Health Act, in theory, as would be the case normally, there are no restrictions on a protected party having contact with anyone.

However, Local Authorities can additionally impose safeguard restrictions on contact with protected parties if they are deemed at risk. 

Difficulty in Reaching Loved Ones 

Whilst anyone posing no risk should have ready access to their loved ones, there are sadly cases whereby a relative may have difficulty in making contact.

For example, where there are family disputes, it can prove impossible to contact vulnerable relatives living in residential care.

If contact is unnecessarily obstructed by a third party, a useful method of making contact in difficult circumstances is arranging a solicitor’s letter to be sent to the care home involved.

This can often resolve the situation in an economical and timely way. However, it might subsequently become necessary to make an application to the Court of Protection.

By doing this, if contact is found to be in the protected party’s best interests, any obstruction will be overridden.

In cases put to the Court of Protection, the vulnerable party will be represented by a panel of solicitors with no connection to the family.

Consequently, this takes out any familial involvement and allows the protected party to be represented impartially.

Although the wishes of the family will be taken into account, above all, any decision has to be made in the best interests of the protected party.

The process will often include assessment visits being made to the vulnerable person to try to find out their preference.

As a result, the format sometimes becomes lengthy in trying to determine what exactly is right for the protected party. Some cases have several hearings to ensure they make the right decision.

To learn more, get in touch with us today.

In the meantime, please check our court of protection services.

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