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A warning to Deputies and Attorneys

View profile for Valerie Robinson
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It is the duty of a Deputy or an Attorney to act in the best of interests of the person whose affairs one is charged with looking after.  That, obviously, means safeguarding assets and, where appropriate ensuring income.

Edna was 87 years old and due to Senile Dementia she was no longer able to look after herself and went into Residential Care.  She was self-funding and her son John was appointed as her Deputy.

John sold Edna’s house but instead of investing all the proceeds for Edna’s benefit, he only invested part.

John recalled that Edna had said a couple of years ago, that it would be nice for John to have a new car.

John, bearing his mother’s wishes in mind, went and bought himself a new car.

This raised two issues.

Firstly John is not permitted as Edna’s Deputy to make gifts (other than small or regular ones) without the consent of the Court of Protection.

Secondly, he would be in trouble with the Local Authority as they would consider that John has deliberately deprived Edna of assets thus affecting her assistance from them.

So, as far as John is concerned what next?

If he does nothing he could be ordered to repay to his mother the cost of the car. He could apply, retrospectively, for consent to the gift. Unlikely to succeed if Edna is in a Home and the car is of no benefit to her.

For further information regarding this subject please contact Paul Rhodes on or William Rowe on