An introduction to the Court of Protection and Deputyship – part 2
This is the second of two articles providing an introduction to the Court of Protection and Deputyship. The first article looked at:
- What is the Court of Protection
- What is a Deputy
- Who can be a Deputy
- How to apply to be a Deputy
This article looks at the process of becoming a Deputy and some key things a newly appointed Deputy should be aware of.
How much does it cost?
From 30 September 2021, you normally have to pay an application fee of £371 when applying to the Court – this has to be paid when you send in the application. If you apply to be both types of Deputy (Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare) then you will need to pay the application fee twice. You might be able to get help with the application fee. The Court of Protection form – Court of Protection fees (COP44) – provides guidance on this.
If you wish for a solicitor to assist you with an application, they will be able to advise you on their fees for doing this work.
A fee will often be charged for the capacity assessment – this can vary but it is usually between £200-500.
If a Deputy is appointed then there will be other costs to pay. Deputies are supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). A one off deputy assessment fee of £100 will be payable to the OPG on your appointment as Deputy. You will also need to pay the OPG an annual supervision fee. This will vary between £35 -320. It may be possible to apply for a fee exemption or a fee remission. The OPG form – Get help with paying OPG deputy fees (OPG120) – provides guidance on this.
If you are appointed as Property and Financial Affairs Deputy, you will also need to pay a security bond. The bond is a bit like an insurance policy that protects the finances of the person you are Deputy for. The Court will set the security sum and this will depend on the value of the estate of the person you are Deputy for and how much of their estate you control.
How long does it take?
From experience, unless it is an urgent matter, once an application has been sent to the Court, it usually takes six months for an Order to be made. There is a backlog at the Court so we are finding that applications are taking longer than usual.
What do I need to do once I am Deputy?
You will need to send others, for example, banks and the Department for Work and Pensions, a copy of the Order to prove that you are now acting as Deputy on the person’s behalf.
If you are a Property and Financial Affairs Deputy you should open a separate bank account as it is important that you keep your money completely separate from the money of the person you are Deputy for. All financial transactions must be recorded.
The OPG provide you with advice and support. They may also visit you. You must provide the OPG with an annual deputy report explaining the decisions you have made as Deputy. If you are a Property and Financial Affairs Deputy then you will also need to include financial information in the report. The OPG will let you know when the report is due.
Can I get paid for being a Deputy?
The answer is usually no. However, you may be able to claim expenses for things you must do to carry out your Deputy role for example postage and travel costs.
Only a Professional Deputy, for example, a solicitor, can charge for time spent carrying out their duties. Their fees are normally paid out of the finances of the person they are Deputy for.
How can we help?
Charlene Hughes is a Managing Associate in the Court of Protection team at Freeths LLP. Charlene specialises in property and affairs deputyships for adults and children who have an acquired brain injury often due to medical negligence, a serious accident or dementia. Charlene is also experienced in Statutory Wills, Personal Injury Trusts, statutory funding, and welfare benefits.