Court of Protection dispute costs to be paid by families

Court of Protection plansCourt of Protection dispute costs are to be paid by families involved in the disputes if plans go ahead.

The legal costs of disputes about a mentally incapacitated person’s assets or their care, should be paid for by the family members who are involved in the dispute in the future.

Usually the legal costs of cases that come before the Court of Protection are paid out of the income or capital of the mentally incapacitated person. Judges do have a discretion to make an order directing someone else to pay the legal costs.

The new proposals

The new plans are being drafted by a committee of the Court of Protection that oversees rule changes. A number of changes are being considered. They could result in wider powers being given to the Court of Protection to order family members to pay the costs of dispute proceedings. The exact proposals haven’t been published. They will be open for public consultation.

Why are changes being considered by the Court of Protection?

The costs involved in bringing proceedings before the Court of Protection can be high, especially where there is a family dispute about the management of a vulnerable person’s affairs. There is concern that some disputed cases are unnecessarily bitter and drawn out which increases legal costs.

Some experts believe that in those cases judges should have wider powers to order ‘vexatious’ family members to pay some or even all the costs involved.

The role of the Court of Protection is to protect the interests of vulnerable people. This includes protecting vulnerable people’s assets and preventing mentally incapacitated people from being used by family members to fight personal battles through the court system.

If you’re a non-professional deputy or wanting to challenge a deputy’s decisions you can get help and practical support  with Court of Protection proceedings here.


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