A Deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of someone (who the Court calls “P”) who has lost their mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. A Deputy is appointed where day-to-day decisions need to made over an extended period and it is impracticable for the Court of Protection itself to be involved in such decisions.
The difference between a Deputy and a valid Lasting Power of Attorney is that a Lasting Power of Attorney is made by P at a time when P has mental capacity and so at that time, chooses who will act for him or her in the event of their incapacity. A Deputy on the other hand is someone the Court of Protection appoints, usually on the application of a person, at a time when P has already lost capacity.
A Deputy steps into the shoes of P and can do anything on behalf of P within the scope of the Order appointing him subject to strict conditions and obligations under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its accompanying Code of Practice.
Taking the position of Deputy can be an onerous task which involves considerable administration and duties, e.g, filing annual reports, supervision from and correspondence with the Office of the Public Guardian, welfare benefit checks and entitlements, maintenance and reconciliation of bank accounts, collecting in all income due, safeguarding property, selling property, maintaining established businesses, applications for statutory Wills, dealing with family disputes about P, paying care home fees and other debts, completion and filing of Tax Returns and ensuring compliance with the complicated and considerable provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its Code of Practice, to name just a few. Also, if the wrong person applies or is appointed, it can cause considerable family animosity and cost.
Our Nigel Anthony Jones is one of only three professional Deputies in Wales appointed to the approved Deputyship Panel of the Office of the Public Guardian. He has considerable experience in acting as a Deputy. We serve Client’s throughout Wales, the South West and to the Midlands. If you are a relative, friend, acquaintance, Local Authority or other interested party considering the appointment of a Deputy, please speak to us first. We will guide you through the process and advise what might be best for P.
What happens if you lose your mental capacity and are unable to make day-to-day choices and more complex financial decisions?
If you have not provided for this eventuality, someone else may have to apply to the 'Court of Protection' to appoint a 'Deputy' to look after your affairs. The Court of Protection has been criticised for the time it takes to appoint the Deputy and the cost of so doing which can be very expensive. In the meantime, you will have considerable difficulty getting access to your money to pay for essential services, like care, or even manage your assets. That's why on the Radio 4 'Today' programme on 8 January 2010, the Justice Minister, Bridgette Prentice advised everyone (not just the elderly) to make a Lasting Power of Attorney.
A Lasting Power of Attorney, made whilst you still have the mental capacity to do so, legally allows someone you trust to look after your financial and property affairs and, if you require, your personal welfare (e.g. medical treatment, admission to nursing care). It is the best way to avoid the costly and bureaucratic procedure which the criticised Court of Protection requires. We can arrange all this for you, simply, without fuss and at a fraction of the price. If you want someone independent to manage your financial and property affairs under your Power of Attorney, we will be happy to do so.
We are here to help you.
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Director, Solicitor & Professional Deputy