If a person lacks the mental capacity to manage their own finances, an Appointee can be instructed to administer that person’s state benefits. This is the extent of an Appointees control. The responsibilities of an Appointee include:
claiming benefits for the client, including completing and signing any claim forms
collecting/receiving benefit payments for the client
paying any relevant expenses that the client is due to pay eg. residential care home charges
reporting any changes in their own circumstances that the DWP may require
Deputyship works in the same way as appointeeship but offers the additional protection of the client’s assets, savings or property. Deputyship is appropriate when someone has not previously appointed an attorney in a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and does not have the mental capacity to make an LPA. Deputies are appointed by the CoP, and are required to obtain an Assessment of Capacity Form (COP3) with relation to the client, before they can proceed with their application.
Some of the key responsibilities of a Deputy include:
receiving the individuals income from all sources, including shares, occupational pensions, state benefits, premium bond winnings etc
administering the day to day finances of their client eg. paying bills
keeping accurate records of the administration of their client’s finances, and been accountable to the CoP in the form of an Annual Report, which is required by law.
making tax returns
looking after the client’s property
closing down bank accounts and opening one interest bearing account to be used for the maintenance of the client
taking out insurance which covers the client’s income & spending during the life of the deputyship
co-operating with any CoP Visitor
keeping to all orders & directions the Court makes
notifying the Court if there is a likelihood of the client getting married, divorced or involved in other legal proceedings
We can also assist Lay Deputies (family member or friend) with applications to the CoP, while also advising them on the legal requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and the associated Code of Practice.
Professional Deputies is under-written for £3,000,000 of Professional Indemnity Insurance (PI), while Security Bond’s are also taken out for every deputyship client that we take on.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
There are many reasons why you may want to appoint a trusted friend, family member or professional to act on your behalf in a LPA capacity. You may be concerned that your ability to make decisions may diminish in the future due to ill health (both physical and mental), and want to put something in place now. By making such arrangements your affairs will be looked after if and when you lose mental capacity, ensuring that your best interests are taken into account even if you can’t make such decisions for yourself.
There are two different types of LPA’s:
1. Health & Welfare - A Health & Welfare LPA allows you to choose one or more people to make decisions for things such as medical treatment. A Health & Welfare LPA can only be used if you lack the ability to make decisions for yourself.
2. Property & Financial Affairs - A Property & Financial Affairs LPA lets you choose one or more people to make property and financial affairs decisions for you. This could include decisions about paying bills or selling your home. You can appoint someone as an attorney to look after your property and financial affairs at any time. You can also include a condition that means the attorney can only make decisions when you lose the ability to do so yourself.
Having an LPA is a safe way of maintaining control over decisions made for you because:
it has to be registered with the Office of the Public
Guardian (OPG) before it can be used
you choose someone to provide a ‘certificate’, which means they confirm that you understand the significance and purpose of what you’re agreeing to
you can choose who gets told about your LPA when it is registered (so they have an opportunity to raise concerns)
your signature and the signatures of your chosen attorneys must be witnessed
your attorney(s) must follow the Code of Practice of the MCA 2005 and act in your best interests
the OPG provides helpful support and advice
When it comes to your LPA needs Professional Deputies can assist you to draft and submit your LPA, while also acting as a Professional Attorney for those clients that may not have anyone who could or would be prepared to take on this role. We also act as Replacement Attorney’s when the need arises.
With over twelve years of experience advising numerous organisations when it comes to this particular type of work, we are able to offer a range of consultancy services covering areas like: service start-ups, relevant banking software, relevant accounting software, team formations, policies, practices, working with key stakeholders, meeting regulatory requirements, service reviews, charging guidelines and so on.