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  • Overview

    With the end of the year fast approaching, it is a good opportunity to look ahead to see what changes we may expect in 2022 for those working within the Court of Protection and supporting  vulnerable clients. At this stage, it seems likely that during the course of the coming year, we will learn a lot more about significant legislative changes which are likely to be implemented in the years ahead. There are also some procedural changes on the way, which will have implications for the process involved when appointing deputies and attorneys, which we explore in this article.

    Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) bill

    This private members bill had its second reading in the House of Commons in December 2021. It aims to commit the government to prepare and publish a holistic strategy designed to meet the needs of people living with ABI.

    It was launched by Chris Bryant, the MP for Rhondda and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Acquired Brain Injury, who said at the time: “Acquired brain injury affects more than one million people living in this country.

    “We really need to be able to give people back their quality of life after they have had an acquired brain injury. Unfortunately in the UK, we haven’t got a national strategy which copes with problems in the Ministry of Defence, housing, education, the health service…so many different departments.”

    This proposed bill is welcome news, as it commits to improving services across the board for brain injury survivors and their families. While it is unlikely to be implemented in 2022, its progress during the year will certainly be watched with interest.

    Social care changes

    After a lengthy delay, the ‘Build Back Better’ plan for social care was announced in the House of Commons in September. While no changes will be implemented until approximately October 2023, it is anticipated we will find out much more during the course of 2022 about the practical implications of these proposed changes.

    The pending changes to social care funding will have far reaching implications for vulnerable people and their families in England. As with all legislation, the devil will be in the detail but the Command Paper introduces a wide variety of proposed changes, including:  

    • A cap of £86,000 will be introduced on the amount that anyone in England will need to spend on their eligible personal care needs throughout their lifetime
    • New capital thresholds will be introduced meaning that anyone with assets below £20,000 won’t need to contribute to their personal eligible care costs from their capital assets
    • Anyone with capital assets worth between £20,000 and £100,000 will need to contribute on a ‘sliding scale’ (to be determined by local authorities) up to an amount equal to 20% of their capital assets in any one year
    • Anyone with capital assets in excess of £100,000 will need to fund their own eligible personal care costs until they reach the care cap
    • An individual’s income may still be taken into account but income charges will cease once the care cap has been reached
    • A person’s home will continue to be disregarded when assessing capital assets, if that person continues to live at home and receives care at home
    • The government has pledged to ‘tackle persistent unfairness’ in the social care system by ensuring that self-funders are no longer expected to effectively subsidise the cost of local authority funded care


    This issue of reforming adult social care has long been a political hot potato and it will be interesting to see what further changes, if any, are introduced when the bill passes through parliament. 

    Digitalisation of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)

    The Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with the Office of the Public Guardian, earlier this year published a consultation on plans for how LPAs could be modernised. Part of this includes suggestions to digitalise the LPA process.

    Those working in law dealing with capacity related issues are generally nervous about a digital system increasing the risk of fraud and abuse. We are likely to find out what changes, if any, are going to be made following the consultation later in 2022.

    Any changes will have a significant impact on both those advising vulnerable people and those people themselves. Again, we will need to wait and see exactly what is announced, and will be following closely to see that any changes address concerns.

    Faster appointments of Deputies

    The Court of Protection has successfully been trialling a pilot in relation to applications to appoint property and financial affairs Deputies. Under the pilot, those who are likely to have an interest in the Court application are served with notices prior to an application being made.

    Assuming there are no objections, the application is then submitted with a form of certificate confirming that there are no objections. In cases which are uncontested (i.e. the majority of cases), the changes have reduced the time it takes to appoint a Deputy by approximately 50%.

    In addition, the Court has been trialling a new electronic application process, which should help streamline and speed up processes.  

    Both of these changes are likely to be implemented in 2022 and will hopefully have a really positive impact.

    Changes to the Professional Deputyship Standard

    The Professional Deputyship Standards have largely remained unchanged since being implemented in July 2015. However, based on comments made on behalf of the Public Guardian earlier this year, it seems possible that 2022 will see an update to the Standards. It will be interesting to see what these changes entail and how they may impact on the day to day management of professional deputyships. Clearly, any efforts to help ensure that protected parties are receiving the best possible level of service will always be welcome.

  • Related Services

    Court of Protection & Deputyship

    We have one of the largest nationally recognised specialist Court of Protection teams in the country, offering practical advice and personal service in situations where someone needs help managing their finances.

    Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)

    Lasting Powers of Attorney offer security and peace of mind for you and your family.

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I would like to receive newsletters, event invitations and publications from Thomson Snell & Passmore by email on the following topics (tick all those that apply) and consent for my data to be processed for this purpose.

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Get In Touch

By submitting an enquiry through 'get in touch' your data will only be used to contact you regarding your enquiry. If you would like to receive newsletters from Thomson Snell & Passmore please use the separate form below.

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