If a person becomes incapable, whether through old age, illness or an accident, of running their own financial affairs, then someone will need to be appointed to deal with their affairs for them. This appointment can happen in one of two ways.
Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney
If the incapacitated person has a Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney [ often called an LPA], or a valid Enduring Power of Attorney made before October 2007, then the Attorneys appointed by these documents can manage their affairs.
A registration procedure must first be followed with Enduring Powers of Attorney but this is relatively straightforward which we can help the Attorneys to complete.
Click here to read more about making a Lasting Power of Attorney and the Difference between a Lasting and Enduring Power of Attorney
Court of Protection
- If there is no Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney in place, then the Office of the Public Guardian and the Court of Protection will have to be involved. The Court of Protection is a special Court which makes decisions for people who cannot manage their financial affairs any more, including making decisions as to who should be appointed to manage their affairs for them. The Office of the Public Guardian is a wing of the Court of Protection and exists to supervise people who are appointed to manage other people’s financial affairs.
- Those appointed to manage another’s financial affairs by the Court are called Deputies.
- Making an application to the Court to be appointed as a Deputy involves lots of paperwork, and we can guide you through this or complete it for you. The paperwork consists of an application form, a detailed form giving details of all the property and assets owned by the person, their income and outgoings, care needs and costs, an assessment form which will need to be completed by their GP or another medical practitioner, and a declaration form for completion by the person wishing to be appointed as Deputy giving details about themselves. An application fee is payable when the papers are sent to Court – currently £400. Once the application is lodged at Court, they will issue further forms for completion and it is usual that other family members must be notified so everyone is aware what is happening; strict timescales are imposed for notification.
- The Court holds a hearing to make a decision; it is unusual for the person making the application to need to attend. Generally, the Court makes a decision on the basis of the paperwork it has received. If the Court decides that the person who has making the application should be appointed as a Deputy, they will issue a formal order giving to appoint them. You will need to check this carefully. The Court will also decide what level of supervision the Deputy will be under and what supervision fees are payable to the Court on an annual basis. These can be set between nil and £750 a year.
- The Court will also require that indemnity insurance is taken out and kept in place for the duration of the Deputyship. The Court will set the level of insurance required. This must be renewed annually.
- Once appointed, you may manage the person’s financial affairs but you are subject to obligations under the Mental Health Act 2005 and duties to report to the Office of the Public Guardian when requested to do so.
Click here to read more about the Court of Protection
How we can help
Our specialist solicitors have experience of both the Public Guardianship Office and Court of Protection and can assist in both types of application. We are also able to act as professional deputies, should there be no one else suitable.
So if you are looking for help with an LPA , the Public Guardianship Office or the Court of Protection, we can help. Our private client team regular issues for clients throughout Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset from our offices in Salisbury, Fordingbridge, Andover and Amesbury.