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Financial Deputies (also known as a Property and Affairs Deputy) are appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of a person who lacks the mental capacity to make decisions regarding their financial affairs including any property or other assets owned (known as a Protected Party).
Whilst Deputies can be family member (known as a Lay Deputy), it is common in cases where a large damages award has been received by the Protected Party for a Professional Deputy (such as a lawyer) to be appointed as there could be significant and quite complex financial affairs to be managed.
A Deputy’s role is primarily to assist the Protected Person with all financial matters, and this involves working closely with all other professionals and family members involved in the Protected Party’s care. Their role may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Ensuring funds are available to meet day-to-day needs
- Setting and monitoring budgets with family members and other professionals
- Dealing with the employment of carers and administering the payroll, contracts, PAYE, National Insurance, pension auto-enrolment and employment disputes
- Liaising with case managers and other professionals in respect of care teams, therapists and other needs
- Paying regular household bills
- Arranging the investment of any settlement or damages awarded
- Buying and / or adapting a property to meet the person’s needs
- Dealing with benefits applications
- Looking into the availability of statutory funding to meet care needs
- Making applications to the Court of Protection
- Preparing an annual report and accounts for the Office of the Public Guardian and submitting tax returns
Whilst a Professional Deputy will levy a charge for their services, it is not possible for a Lay Deputy to be paid for fulfilling the role of a Deputy, although expenses incurred, such as travel, postage or telephone calls should be reimbursed.