Court of Protection

Alongside our extensive experiencing in dealing with personal injury claims, Debra Morris of our Derby office also acts as a Court of Protection appointed professional deputy.

What is a financial deputy?

A financial deputy is someone who manages the financial affairs of an individual who has been deemed to lack capacity to do so themselves, either as a result of illness or injury. It is possible for a family member to be appointed as deputy but in cases where this is not appropriate, for example if a large amount of compensation has been awarded or there is no immediate family, a professional deputy is likely to be appointed by the Court of Protection.

What is the role of a financial deputy?

The role of a financial deputy is to essentially step into the shoes of the person who lacks capacity to make decisions and manage their best interests in relation to their finances. As part of this professional deputyship, we manage the client’s investments, benefits, day to day expenses and allowances, as well as engaging with any multidisciplinary team in place. A deputy can be responsible for managing all aspects of a client’s finances, from the most basic such as paying utility bills, to the most complex such as assisting with the purchase, sale, tenancy or adaptations of a property.

What is the cost of a financial deputy?

The cost of a financial deputy should be claimed as part of your compensation claim and will depend on the deputy’s level of involvement. Some individuals may be able to manage their day to day finances, such as an allowance and their utility bills, and will therefore require less involvement from a deputy whereas others may require complete management of all their finances.

A bill of costs will be drawn up each year in relation to the work a deputy has undertaken and this will then be approved by the Court through an assessment process.

How long will you need a financial deputy for?

Generally speaking, all Court of Protection Orders appointing a deputy are indefinite, however this doesn’t mean that an individual will require a financial deputy for the rest of their life.

Capacity can change over time and as part of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) it is a deputy’s duty to help the individual manage their finances in the hopes that they may be able to do so independently in the future. A deputy will arrange for regular capacity assessments to be undertaken by a qualified and impartial professional, such as a neuropsychologist. If the individual is found to have regained capacity, the deputy Order can be discharged, and they can begin managing their finances themselves.

C was involved in a life-changing road traffic collision in 2012. Alongside other catastrophic injuries, C was left with a brain injury which meant she no longer had the capacity to manage her own finances. Debra Morris of our Derby office firstly handled her litigation claim and was then appointed as C’s financial deputy by the Court of Protection.

C said: “Debra was there for me every step of the way, first as my solicitor and then as my deputy. She was supportive, understanding and nothing was ever too much trouble. Debra managed my finances diligently for more than three years, making investments and decisions in my best interest. With her guidance, I was able to regain capacity to handle my own finances in 2022. I asked Debra if she would continue to support me by becoming a trustee of my Personal Injury Trust where she continues to use her knowledge and experience of managing large financial portfolios while empowering me to live independently. Thank you Debra for all your support and hard work.”

If you have any questions about financial deputyship, or want to enquire about our Court of Protection services, call us on 01332 447 998 now.

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