A deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection to manage financial matters on behalf of a person who is unable to do this for themselves. A deputy can be appointed to act on behalf of an adult, or a child if it is likely that the child will continue to lack capacity when he or she reaches 18 years of age.
A deputy can be either a family member or friend (lay deputy), or a solicitor’s firm or other organisation (professional deputy). The court must be satisfied that the person’s funds are managed properly and that decisions are made in their best interests.
A deputy must strictly adhere to the terms of the court order. This can include the requirement to seek further authorisation from the court to make certain decisions such as buying or selling property. Deputies must also submit annual accounts each year to the Court of Protection. This can be complex and time-consuming and a lay deputy can find that complying with the court’s requirements, on top of caring for their loved one and managing their day to day finances, is an onerous burden on them.
Stephensons Trust Corporation act as professional deputy for many families, particularly when the family member is due to receive monies from a compensation payment from settlement of a personal injury or clinical negligence claim. In these circumstances, the injured party can have incredibly complex needs and we have great expertise in managing such needs, ensuring that the damages awarded to a client are utilised effectively in ensuring that the injured party’s quality of life is maximised.
Stephensons Trust Corporation Limited work alongside our personal injury or clinical negligence teams to support families who require this service and are involved from the outset. The early involvement of Stephensons Trust Corporation is key in ensuring that the deputy is aware of the specific needs of the individual and their family. This greatly assists in providing the correct types of support and advice throughout the life of the client.
As professional deputies, Stephensons Trust Corporation have extensive experience in managing deputyships for both adults and children with complex needs, whilst ensuring that our client’s general wellbeing and welfare is always considered.
It is a sad reality that we are often asked to take over from family members who have attempted to manage the deputyship themselves, but have unfortunately been unable to manage. This can result in loss of support for the client if their funds have been mis-managed and there is less money available to apply towards care.
We would always advise that it is sensible to have the support from a professional deputy. This is especially important during a claim for compensation and in the years immediately following a settlement. Once many of the complex matters have been dealt with, it may be that a family member is in a position to take over the deputyship. However, many families that we work with choose to retain the support of a professional which takes the administrative stresses and pressures away from the family, allowing them to focus upon spending time with their loved ones knowing that their needs are being taken care of.
If you would like to speak to a member of our team in relation to a professional deputyship please call us on 0175 321 6399 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.