There are many reasons why a person might no longer be able to manage their own financial affairs or to make informed decisions about their personal welfare. It may be as a result of a catastrophic head injury, the result of negligent medical treatment or even the onset of dementia. When a person has not made a Power of Attorney and is no longer capable of managing their financial affairs then a Deputy will need to be appointed by the Court of Protection.
We are experts in making applications to the Court of Protection in these circumstances. We can guide you and your family through the process of appointing a Deputy and then through the obligations and responsibilities this entails.
- make applications to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy
- help the Financial Deputy complete the necessary annual reports and tax returns
- advise Deputies on their obligations and duties
- obtain necessary Orders from the Court of Protection to enable the Deputy to make necessary decisions and to take necessary steps, such as on the sale of a property or the purchase of a more suitable property
- look at how property will pass on a death and existing Will arrangements or putting in place Statutory Wills in appropriate circumstances.
When a client receives a multi million pound award of damages it will often be difficult or it may be impossible to obtain the necessary insurance bond to enable a member of the family to become the Financial Deputy. At other times, there are no family members or friends who would feel comfortable in taking on the role. Here we are on hand by providing a Professional Deputyship Service to appoint a highly experienced Court-approved Deputy to look after your loved ones’ financial affairs due to their lack of capacity.
We are frequently instructed by the families of clients who have been awarded such damages, as well as by other firms of solicitors who do not offer this service.
What is included in our service?
As part of our Professional Deputyship service we:
- put in place an annual budget and ensure that the financial compensation awarded is invested and applied properly so that the long-term needs of the client are met
- work closely with social workers, care managers, case managers, occupational therapists and other professionals to make sure that the client has all of the care and support they require
- provide a professional, caring, sensitive and supportive service to families and work closely with our litigation colleagues throughout the claim process
- ensure that the client is receiving all the State and other benefits they are entitled to.
Where a person lacks mental capacity, often they will be unable to make their own Will. In these circumstances the Financial Deputy or the Attorney is also unable to gift any of the money they are managing for that person, except in very limited circumstances and for small amounts. In these circumstances, it might be that the client’s estate could be open to an otherwise unnecessary Inheritance Tax burden, or it could be that a family member who has had little or no contact with the client could be in line to inherit everything, or at least a substantial amount.
We are experts at making, or advising upon, Statutory Will and Statutory Gifting applications in these circumstances.
A Statutory Will is a Will that is approved by the Court of Protection on behalf of the person who does not have capacity. We can guide families through every step of this, often lengthy and relatively complex and costly, process to ensure that the client’s wishes are put into effect.
A Statutory Gifting application can be a helpful tool to enable a Financial Deputy or an Attorney to make a gift where it would be helpful to do so. This could be to help with Inheritance Tax planning, to recognise the contribution made by family members for the care of their loved one, or to provide financial support for a family member in need.
We have been successful with many such applications to the Court in these circumstances.
If you have a query regarding the Court of Protection please contact a member of our team on Freephone: 0808 164 0808 for a FREE, no-obligation chat. Alternatively, please complete the request a call back form and we will call you.