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Robert Campbell & Company
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Court of Protection Applications.

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If a person becomes mentally incapable of handling their own affairs, they cannot lawfully appoint someone else to deal with this for them.  Faced with this situation, and the need to ensure elderly family members are protected and their affairs looked after, the answer is to make an application to the Court of Protection for the appointment of one or more family member as ďDeputyĒ.

Any person over the age of 18 may be considered by the Court of Protection to be appointed as a Deputy.  If there is nobody willing to act, the Public Trustee may act. 

Powers of the Deputy  

The Deputyís powers are limited to dealing only with the personís financial affairs and are set out in the first general order which the Court makes when appointing the Deputy. 

This order will usually deal with the following matters:

  • To receive the personís money held in bank or Building Society accounts.
  • To pay any doctorís or court fees, nursing home and other charges, debts, out of pocket expenses and solicitorís fees.
  • To dispose of or sell a personís furniture and household effects.
  • To sell the personís property or to end a tenancy agreement.
  • To take out a grant to administer the deceased personís estate.
  • To maintain insurance policies.
  • To provide accounts of how the personís money under their control had been dealt with.
  • To carry out or execute any other acts which will be necessary in the best interests of the person concerned.
  • To provide documents such as the personís will, deeds and any stock share certificates to be kept separately.

Duties of the Deputy

The Deputy has an overriding duty to act in the best interests of the person concerned and the other specific duties are:

  • To safeguard the personís assets.
  • To open a deputyship account at a local bank or building society.
  • To claim from the Benefits Agency all social security benefits to which the person is entitled.
  • To take out security and pay any bond premiums as and when required.
  • To prepare accounts annually or as and when required.
  • To ensure the funds being used provide him or her with the best quality of life.
  • To ensure that all income is collected and bills are paid on time.
  • To arrange safekeeping of all deeds, documents, entitled testamentary documents and other valuables.
  • To keep any property in a reasonable state and repair, secured and adequately insured.
  • To deal with the personís income tax and other tax matters.
  • To notify the Court of Protection of any change in the personís financial situation.
  • To inform the DVLA if the person holds or applies for a driving license.
  • To advise the Court of Protection if there is a likelihood of the person getting married, divorced or involved in other legal proceedings.
  • To advise the Court of Protection if the preparation of a will is being considered.
  • To cooperate with any Lord Chancellorís visits.
  • To obtain the Court of Protectionís permission before dealing with any capital monies.
  • To inform the Court of Protection of the personís recovery or their death.  The Deputyís powers will cease at such time.
  • To pay the Court of Protectionís fees out of the personís monies as and when requested.
  • To inform the Court of Protection of any change in the personís address and the level of any fees payable.
  • To comply with all directions and orders.

The Procedure for Appointment of a Deputy

The Court of Protection provides a set of application forms which need to be completed.  We deal with this whole process for you.  Click here to request further details of this service.

Court of Protection Costs

Our costs for dealing with the application for appointment of a Deputy are claimed from the assets of the person who has lost mental capacity.  The Court of Protection will determine whether the fixed fee will be levied or alternatively if our file is to be subject to a detailed assessment.  A detailed assessment will be applied for when the work involved is over and above what is permitted for the fixed fee.  In addition, there will be disbursements such as the commencement fee (currently £400) and any doctorís fee for obtaining the medical certificate required. 

Once the appointment of a Deputy has been made, the Court of Protection will take annual costs from the assets of the person who has lost mental capacity.  These costs go towards the administration expenses incurred by the Court of Protection.  Again, these costs are fixed by the Court of Protection and vary from time to time.  There will also be an annual insurance fee payable which is determined by the size of the estate of the person who has lost capacity.  Again, this fee is payable from the assets.

Once you are appointed as Deputy, you may wish to handle further future matters yourself.  Alternatively, you might continue to retain us to deal with matters on a day to day basis and prepare the Deputyís annual accounts.  Fees for dealing with this are again either on a fixed fee basis or assessed by the Court of Protection.

On the death of the person who has lost mental capacity, the Court of Protection levies a fixed fee to cover the administration charges to wind up the matter. 

Please contact us if you require any further information regarding our services to families in relation to Court of Protection application.

 

SEPTEMBER 2008

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