Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
The Court of Protection safeguards the rights of vulnerable people by appointing deputies to manage their affairs.
Court of Protection appointed deputies can claim certain expenses that they incur when carrying out their duties.
What are Court of Protection Deputies?
Court of Protection deputies look after the affairs of people who lack mental capacity to do this for themselves.
There are two types of deputy:
- Property and financial affairs
- Health and welfare
The role of deputy carries big responsibilities. This is why a deputy can only act under an order from the Court of Protection.
A person may lack mental capacity for a number of reasons, such as:
- Brain injury or other illness
- Learning difficulties
Under the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the Court of Protection has the power to appoint a deputy to manage someone else’s affairs, but the individual concerned should first be given help to make decisions on their own.
If it is then established that they cannot make decisions for themselves, the court will appoint a deputy, or deputies, to do this.
What are the Duties of Court of Protection Deputies?
- As a health and welfare deputy, you could be making decisions about living arrangements, medical treatment choices, contact and access.
- As a property and financial affairs deputy, you will need to decide the best ways of managing an individual’s finances, including making sure they receive any benefits or funding to which they’re entitled.
You can apply to be one specific type of deputy, or both, but you must make separate applications.
A court order from the Court of Protection will clarify what your role is, and what you can and cannot do as a deputy.
There is a code of practice for you to follow too.
Each decision you make will be different, and the person you’re acting on behalf of may have different levels of mental capacity at different times. This will affect your decisions.
A Court of Protection deputy must keep an annual report, recording the decisions they make. They must submit this to the Office of the Public Guardian.
The annual report must include:
- The finances of the person for whom you’re making these decisions
- The decisions you’ve made as a deputy
- The reasons for these decisions
- How they were in the best interests of the person
- Any advice you got before making a decision
You must keep clear accounts, with copies of bank statements, receipts, contracts and any correspondence that is to do with your role as a deputy.
Who Can Become a Deputy?
A deputy must be over 18.
Generally, the Court of Protection prefers a close family member of the person lacking mental capacity to take the role of deputy. The principle behind this is that they are more likely to have the person’s best interests at heart.
A paid care worker may not be suitable, in case of a potential conflict of interest.
The court can also appoint friends, neighbours or professional representatives such as solicitors or accountants as deputies.
The court will not usually appoint someone as a property and affairs deputy if they have a poor record of managing their own finances, for example if they have been made bankrupt or have a county court judgment against their name.
What Does it Cost to Become a Deputy?
When you apply to become a Court of Protection deputy, you’ll have to pay a £371 application fee.
Once the court has appointed you, you will then need to pay an annual fee for supervision.
The amount you pay will depend on the level of supervision you require.
For general supervision, the fee is £320 per year. For minimal supervision, it’s £35.
The Office of the Public Guardian will determine what fees you should be paying.
What Expenses can you Claim For?
There are various Court of Protection deputy expenses you can claim for, and these include:
- Travel expenses
- Phone calls
You cannot claim for the time you spend carrying out your role (unless it’s in a professional deputy capacity, such as a solicitor), or costs for social travel.