According to the High Court in the recent case of Bowen and others v Isle of Wight Council (Rev1)...
Professional Attorney & Deputy Service
Being appointed as an Attorney or Court of Protection Property and Affairs Deputy for a friend or family member is a responsible task, and brings with it many obligations and duties.
For some, it is a task they prefer not to have to take on, in order that they may put their energy into the very important task of caring for their loved one. In some circumstances, it may be wise that an independent professional is appointed to act, to prevent any possible difficulties within the family or undue strain on a family member. If this is the case, or if there simply isn’t anyone willing or able within the circle of family or friends to take on this task, then the court may appoint a professional deputy to act.
At mfg, we have a very experienced professional attorney and deputy team who can step in to help.
We offer a practical, down to earth approach to our service, working with the client to empower them to make as many of the decision about their property and affairs that they can, in the least restrictive way.
Where decisions need to be made on behalf of the client we endeavour to ensure these are made in the client’s best interest. We are keen to operate a team approach and where possible and appropriate we will work closely with family members, carers and friends.
Our Professional Deputies are supervised in their role by The Office of the Public Guardian and must adhere to the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and OPG’s Professional Deputy’s Standards. Several of our team are members of Solicitors for the Elderly.
Also where we act as Professional Deputy, we report at least annually to OPG about decisions made and file accounts to detail monies collected and spent on behalf of the client.
Although not exhaustive, the following is a list of possible duties and obligations of a Property and Affairs Attorney or Deputy:
Operating a separate bank account, in the name of the Attorney/Deputy and client
Collecting in Welfare Benefits and Occupational pensions and other income and ensuring the correct levels of benefits are being received by carrying out regular reviews
Producing an income and expenses budget and consider cash flow
Settling any debts and liabilities and ongoing expenses
Completing tax returns to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs where required, make repayment claim if appropriate
Managing and maintaining property, arranging clearance and sale if necessary, letting out where appropriate/managing tenancy.
If client continues to live in their own home, managing household expenses budgets. Organising building & contents insurance and possibly trade people where needed for repairs and servicing of household equipment, including annual safety checks where needed
Arranging and managing investments, liaising with Independent Financial Advisers
Where acting as Deputy. producing Annual accounting to Office of the Public Guardian in their prescribed format and occasionally receiving visits from OPG Visitor Service
Receiving supervision by OPG where this may be needed
Liaising with carers, possibly arranging employment of outside carers and organising payroll
Liaising with care home and social services, care agencies as required.