Deputyship

What is Deputyship?
Some people will already have plans in place for a time in the future when they cannot make their own decisions. They may have set up an LPA, however, if they haven’t and you need to make decisions on their behalf, you will need to apply to the Court of Protection to become Deputy. The application is only the beginning of a longer process.

What is a Deputy?
A Deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the affairs of someone who lacks the mental capacity to make their own decisions.

What types of Deputyship are available?
Property and Financial Deputyship – used to manage a person’s financial affairs. If a person has no property or savings and their only income is from benefits, there will usually be no need for a Deputy to be appointed.
Personal Welfare Deputyship – the Court of Protection does not usually appoint Deputies to make decisions about someone’s health and welfare unless they need regular treatment or supervision.

Limits to a Deputy’s appointment
A Deputy’s powers should be as limited as reasonably possible, both in terms of what they can do and how long they last. This means that the Deputy should only have the powers that they really need to have and no more.

The Process
We will submit an application to the Court of Protection on behalf of those wishing to be made Deputy. The application process involves providing the Court with information about the person’s circumstances and finances. The application process can be quite long, with outcomes sometimes taking several months.

Considerations for Deputies:

  • Security Bond - often a Deputy’s first duty is to arrange a ‘security bond’ with an insurer. This is a type of insurance policy designed to financially protect the person in the unlikely event that you mismanage their finances. The Court requires that all Deputies for property and financial affairs do this. The size of the security bond will depend on the amount of money (including assets, such as property) that you will have control of.
  • Who to tell? - Deputies will need to tell various organisations, such as DWP, the local authority, banks or building societies etc. about the Deputyship before they will agree to deal with them on behalf of the person. The Deputy should also inform other people involved in the person’s care, such as carers, relatives and friends.
  • Supervision - the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has a responsibility to check Deputies are doing everything they should be doing. This involves making sure that they keep to the terms of the Order, and that the decisions made on behalf of the person follow the Mental Capacity Act and are in the person’s best interests. They can telephone the Deputy or visit you to check that you are doing what you should. As a Deputy you will have to provide an annual report to the Court.
  • Expenses - when acting as someone’s Deputy you can claim for certain expenses, as long as they are reasonable.

Cost
Alexander Legal Services charges a fixed fee of £900 for Deputyship applications.

Application Fees
In addition to our fee, application fees totaling approximately £400 are also payable to the Court and supervision fees are payable to the OPG each year. Any fees the Deputy pays in relation to the application can be claimed back from the funds once the Order has been issued.