Deputyship – when energy of lawyer is not an possibility
If your partner, parent, or other close relative is losing the ability to run their own business, you may be concerned about how much you can help, especially with financial matters.
If the person you are caring for has not made plans of their own, e.g. B. through permanent or permanent power of attorney, no one can access your funds or make financial decisions on your behalf. This can be especially problematic when it comes to accessing money for daily living.
Many people just don’t want to think about a future in which they are no longer independent. Others may not know who to appoint as a lawyer or may be concerned that their families will be burdened. Whatever the reason, even if there is no power of attorney, you can still help by applying to be a deputy.
Application as a deputy
Before submitting an application for representation, it is essential to ensure that this person has not yet issued a power of attorney. Unless a solitary attorney died or lost capacity, or an attorney was dismissed by the court for misconduct, the court will not override the wishes of the person who has lost capacity.
They may simply look through their records to see if they have a power of attorney. Alternatively, or if you are not sure, you can find out from the guardian’s office whether a power of attorney has already been registered.
If you are satisfied that there is no power of attorney, you can apply to the court to become the person’s deputy. If the court is satisfied that the person no longer has the capacity to manage their own finances and that you are a suitable person to act on their behalf, the court will appoint you.
How long does it take to be appointed alternate?
Applying for a deputy to the Court of Protection is time-consuming. It usually takes about six months from start to finish, and you cannot make any decisions on that person’s behalf until a final order is placed.
If the person has not yet issued direct debits or standing orders, this means that their invoices can only be paid after an appointment has been made. Once you have been appointed deputy, you can repay any bills that you pay from your own resources during this time. If you are unable to cover the cost of the bills, it is important that you reach out to the various creditors to clarify the circumstances and make appropriate arrangements.
The reason the application process is so lengthy is because the court has your loved ones’ interests first in making a decision. A deputyship application is much more scrutinized than when someone gives a power of attorney. It is necessary to receive a report on the performance of the person in a format approved by the court.
You must also inform the person applying for and their family or close friends of your intention to apply. The court then gives them a set period in which to respond if they have any concerns. Eventually, the court will review your application and your own financial circumstances to ensure that you are the most suitable candidate to serve as an alternate.
Who pays the deputyship fees?
Due to the different parties involved, deputyship applications are notoriously expensive.
Some costs, such as the cost of the medical opinion and court filing fee, must be paid in advance. You will be responsible for these costs, but you will be able to reimburse yourself from the funds of the person applying through once you are appointed. Other costs, such as B. Legal fees, can be paid once you have access to the person’s funds after placing a representation.
One of the main benefits of becoming a proxy instead of being a lawyer is that you are under certain supervision. This is especially useful if you have never acted as a surrogate or attorney before, as it provides some assurance that the decisions you are making are appropriate.
An alternate must provide the Guardian Office with an annual report detailing the exact capital, income and expenses incurred each year. You don’t need to submit receipts for the report. However, you should keep this for your records as it will make it much easier to fill out the report.
Reporting can be a nuisance, especially in the first few years, but it does serve to protect your loved ones from possible mistakes.
Another level of protection given to the person whose finances you manage is that you must take out insurance annually. The insurance policy is an expense of the person applying for and can be covered from their funds. In the event that something goes wrong, e.g. For example, if you use the person’s money in a way that does not allow the order – for example, through an unauthorized gift – a claim for reimbursement of lost funds may be made to your loved one through the insurer.
The benefits of a lawyer
If you are considering applying for a substitute for someone, our lawyers can assist you with the application and beyond. You may want to request a professional alternate to be appointed alongside or in your place.
While this doesn’t seem intuitive, the cost is often reduced by appointing a lawyer to help with the application from the start. Our team is used to building such applications and we know all of the typical problems that can arise along the way.
When you hire an attorney to make the application on your behalf, you can rest assured that the application process will go smoothly and that you will be appointed as soon as possible.
For more information, please contact Lucie Glover on our Vulnerable Client Team on 01227 763939.