In the situation where an individual no longer retains mental capacity and they do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in place, a Deputyship Order will be needed to manage their affairs.
A Deputyship Order is an order issued by the Court of Protection appointing a Deputy(s) to deal with the affairs of an individual having given regard to the complexity of their affairs, their needs and their assets. A suitable Deputy must be 18 years or over and are usually close relatives or friends of the person who needs help making decisions.
The choice of a Deputy will be at the Court’s discretion and may not be the person you would have chosen to manage your affairs under an LPA or EPA.
Deputyship applications can take several months to complete (usually at least 6 months) and tend to be a lot more costly than creating Lasting Powers of Attorney. This can be particularly frustrating when needing to assist an individual but without access to their finances.
Relying on a Deputyship Order should, therefore, only be as a last resort.
What type of Deputyship Order can be issued?
The two main types of applications are for property and financial affairs and/or for their personal welfare.
The order made by the Court will set out what the Deputy can do. A Deputy for financial affairs can do most of the things that you can do, for instance, paying bills, managing bank accounts and investments, selling a property, dealing with insurances, etc.
A Deputy for personal welfare is allowed to make decisions in relation to your care and health needs. However, it is rare for the court to agree to appoint a personal welfare Deputy. If no one is appointed to deal with your personal welfare the local authority has a duty to ensure your needs are met and will make decisions for you.
Please also note that if there is a jointly held property then a second Order may need to be obtained from the Court of Protection by the Deputy, delaying matters further.
Booking an appointment
To book an appointment or to have an initial informal chat, please contact Michelle Bright on 01245 504904 or one of our solicitors below.
If you are coming to our office in Chelmsford, car parking is available at the rear of our building and wheelchair access can be easily arranged. If necessary, our solicitors can also visit you at home or in hospital.
We will charge a fixed fee of £950.00 plus VAT to deal with a Deputyship application. This fee is set by the Court of Protection. This fixed fee may not include work associated with a hearing if the Court decides that one is necessary, and we reserve the right to deal with matters on an hourly rate, where applicable, and have our fees assessed if matters are more complex.
Fees charged by the Court of Protection
The Court charges an application fee of £371.00. However, if the Court decides your case needs a hearing then an additional fee of £494.00 is also applicable.
There are also some ongoing costs once an order has been granted and which are usually paid from the individual’s assets:-
- Security Bond for Deputies managing property and financial affairs
Before the Order is granted the Court will require the Deputy to give security. Security is a type of insurance policy or financial guarantee that protects the person who lacks mental capacity.
Security can be given using the Courts preferred provider, Howden Insurance Brokers Limited. Alternatively you can seek your own arrangements by arranging a Bond with a company of your choice as long as they meet certain requirements.
The bond will need to be renewed on an annual basis for the duration of the Deputy’s appointment however where an individual only has a small estate it is possible to arrange for a single payment to be made for the lifetime of the Bond.
You should expect to pay around 0.075% of the value of the Bond set by the Court. For example, if the Bond value set by the Court is £100,000 you would pay around £75 a year for the Bond.
- Deputy assessment and supervision fees
A Deputy assessment fee is a one-off payment that covers the cost of assessing the level of supervision a Deputy needs.
Whilst the supervision fee is paid annually, the amount depends on the level of supervision your Deputyship needs and the Court will inform you of the amount due. This is currently £320 for general supervision and £35 for minimal supervision (which applies to Deputies managing less than £21,000).
In some instances both the Deputy assessment and Supervision fees are reduced or even waived, depending on the finances of the person whose affairs you are dealing with.