What is a deputyship order?
A Deputyship Order is a way that someone becomes legally allowed to make certain decisions on another person’s behalf if they no longer have the capacity to make those decisions for themselves and they have not made a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney.
Types of deputyship order
There are two different types of Deputyship Order.
A property and financial affairs Deputyship Order is the most common type and is used to make decisions about a person’s property and finances, including paying bills and selling property.
A health and welfare deputyship order can be used to make decisions about a person’s care and medical treatment, however, welfare deputies are only appointed in exceptional circumstances.
Who can be a deputy?
A deputy is usually a family member or close friend of the person who can no longer make certain decisions.
If this isn’t possible, a professional, such as a solicitor, can act as the person’s deputy.
It is possible for a person to have two or more deputies. Being a deputy can be stressful and time-consuming appointment and it can be beneficial to have two deputies.
If you are thinking of becoming a deputy and making decisions on behalf of someone else, it is important that you understand the duties of this role.
As a deputy, you must always act in a person’s best interests, making decisions carefully and with as much knowledge as possible. You will be required to submit an annual deputyship report to the Court of Protection, so you must ensure that you keep financial accounts and a record of all decisions made.
As a property and financial affairs deputy, you are tasked with managing the persons finances. This typically involves paying bills, moving money between accounts, and managing investment portfolios. If the person has a large amount of money, then you should instruct a financial advisor to assist you.
Some property and financial affairs deputyship orders allow the deputy to make decisions about the person’s property. If you think you will need to sell the person’s house, you should ask for that ability to be included in your deputyship when you apply.
It may be possible for a deputy to make limited gifts on the person’s behalf, but this will depend on the details of the deputyship order. Check the order first before giving any gifts.
Health and welfare deputyship orders are rare, however, if granted you will be responsible for decisions on medical treatment and how the person is looked after.
What is the process of obtaining a deputyship order?
To become a deputy, you will need to submit an application to the Court of Protection. The application process involves giving the court detailed information about the circumstances of the person involved.
You will need to pay an application fee to the court when you submit your application, and this is currently £371 per order. If your application is for a property and financial affairs deputyship order, then you can recover the fee from the person the application is about.
Once the court has made a deputyship order for property and financial affairs, they will send you guidance on how to arrange a security bond. A security bond is a type of insurance policy designed to financially protect the person the deputyship concerns in the unlikely event that you don’t manage their finances properly.
You will have to pay a fee for the bond when you set it up. You will also have to pay a yearly fee while you are deputy. You can pay these fees from any money that you hold for the person.
The Office of Public Guardian is responsible for checking that a deputy is carrying out their role properly. All new deputies are placed under general supervision in their first year and continue under general supervision while deputy. If the assets of the person concerned are below a set amount and there are no concerns about the deputy, they will be placed under minimal supervision after the first year.
If you require assistance with completing the forms, we can complete them on your behalf and we charge a fixed fee of £950 plus vat for this service.