What is a court of protection order?

A court of protection order is a legal document from the court appointing a person (known as a 'deputy') to make ongoing decisions for someone who has lost their mental capacity, where there isn’t a lasting or enduring power of attorney in place.

If a friend or relative is unable to make decisions and you would like to be appointed to do so on their behalf, then you can apply to the court.

The court decides who to give responsibility to, and will supervise the deputies to make sure the account holder's interests are handled correctly.

In Scotland you would apply for a guardianship order, and in Northern Ireland it is a controllership. There may be slightly different procedures relating to these documents, and so you should speak to the relevant office in your jurisdiction if you are not sure about anything.

When might a court of protection order be used?

A court of protection order might be used if:

  • a loved one has lost the mental capacity to make financial decisions and doesn’t have a lasting or enduring power of attorney in place appointing anyone to do so on their behalf, or
  • a teenager in your care is approaching their 18th birthday and doesn’t have the mental capacity to make financial decisions.

Understanding the responsibilities of being a deputy

A deputy (also known as a guardian or controller) will have responsibility for making financial decisions or helping someone make financial decisions. Part of this responsibility is to keep records of financial decisions and provide evidence to the court each year.

You may have to pay a fee to apply and an annual fee. Exact costs vary depending on circumstances, and discounts or exemptions may apply:

There is guidance on how to carry out your duties as a deputy and what you must not do.

You are supervised by the relevant authority where you live to make sure you carry out your duties correctly. You’ll need to keep reports and send them to the court annually. Find out the:

If responsibility is shared

Where there's more than one person appointed by the court, the court will tell you both how to make decisions, either:

  • Separately or together (known as 'jointly and severally') – deputies can make decisions independently or with other deputies, or
  • Together (known as 'jointly') – deputies have to agree on decisions together.

Registering a court of protection order

Apply for the court of protection order

The rules on how to apply vary depending on where you live. Find out how to apply to become a:

 This can take a few weeks/months while the court completes thorough checks.

Make an appointment in branch

Once you have the court of protection order, make an appointment to visit us in branch so we can give you the support you need, and discuss your requirements in private. Find your nearest branch using our branch finder.

The account holder doesn't need to be present at the branch appointment, but at least one of the deputies does, and must bring with them:

  • The original or a certified copy of the court order – a copy may be certified by a professional, like a solicitor, and
  • A list of accounts that you need access to.

The deputy must also bring along the following identification to confirm their own identity:

The same document cannot be used to prove both name and address.

Each deputy will be required to attend their local branch with their identification before they are able to transact on the account.

Once the court of protection order is set up

Within a week of the branch appointment, a letter will be sent to the correspondence address chosen during the appointment, to confirm that the court of protection order is set up and the deputy can transact on the accounts as requested. 

When the deputy comes into branch to make a transaction, they must bring proof of name and address as well. You can't use the same document to prove both your name and address.

What might you be able to do as a deputy?

  • Withdraw cash and cheques
  • Make a bank transfer
  • Hold a debit card and passbook – the account holder’s is cancelled once the order is registered
  • Access the Internet Bank – the deputy is given sole access
  • Open or close an account – unless stated otherwise by the court.

We can only write to one address, which you can choose at registration or a later date.

How do I change or end the court of protection order?

You'll need to contact the relevant authority where you live if you want to:

Then you must let us know by taking a letter into branch.

Find out more

Contact us

Visit us in branch

If you need to speak to a member of staff, pop into any branch. Use our branch finder to find your nearest location.

Contact us

Give us a call

Power of Attorney Helpdesk
0800 464 30 18
(Mon to Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat: 9am - 12pm).