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“Can I be paid for caring for a loved one?”

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

This is a very reasonable question to ask when you are spending a large chunk of your time or even given up your job to care for a loved one such as an elderly parent or disabled child.

We appreciate it can already be a very difficult time to make these adjustments and the financial pressures of being a carer.

In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to make payments to yourself for the care you provide from the assets of your loved one but it does depend on individual circumstances.

If you as the carer are also appointed as an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney or a deputy under a Court of Protection order property and financial affairs deputy then you should seek court approval. You should do this if you are considering paying yourself for care you provide as there is a conflict of interest of your own position and your duty to act in the best interest of the incapacitated person.

If a professional or an independent person is appointed as a deputy for your loved one then they do not, in most circumstances, require authority from the court to make a decision on care payments to family members. This is particularly beneficial as it avoids the delay of around 6-8 months for the Court of Protection to authorise a decision.

The Office of the Public Guardian are likely to look carefully at any arrangement and therefore to protect your position you should seek advice before making any payments.

When deciding on making care payment to other family members or care providers you will need to consider carefully any restrictions in the documents themselves and the scope of your authority with the Code of Practice and guidance produced by the OPG. The same problem of conflict will arise for a close family member such as a spouse, child or sibling providing the care.

You should give careful consideration to the reasonable commercial rates for care provision in your area and provide a reduction of at least 20% for the fact that the care payment is gross of tax.

If you want more information, read our guide on caring for a loved one.

The Court of Protection team at Wilson Browne Solicitors provide expert advice to attorney and deputies on this issue and others which include care home fees and local authority funding.