Professional Deputy Service
Our professional Deputies in Bristol are committed to providing practical, long-term support to those who have lost mental capacity.
Whilst it’s common for the Court of Protection to appoint a friend or family member as Deputy, not everyone has someone who is able or willing to take on the responsibility and manage their affairs on their behalf.
Others may find the thought of managing a large sum daunting and prefer to give responsibility to a professional Deputy. This is especially true in cases where loss of capacity has been caused by a serious accident or unexpected injury, such as a brain injury.
Our professional Deputy services
Our Court of Protection solicitors offer a professional Deputyship service that includes managing property and financial affairs and providing ongoing support to the loved ones of a person who has lost mental capacity.
Our Court of Protection solicitors specialise in managing complex personal injury and medical negligence cases where loss of capacity has occurred. Dealing with an unexpected injury and complicated medical conditions is tremendously hard, especially if you’re also coordinating care with medical and support groups.
Having a professional Deputy can relieve the pressure and be a significant help, however.
Our professional Deputies will get to know you and your family so that we can act in your best interests. We will also keep you informed and be on hand to advise on any changing circumstances or challenges along the way.
What is a professional Deputy responsible for?
Our professional Deputies are responsible for all aspects of our clients’ affairs, including:
- Buying, adapting or selling a home
- Managing or ending tenancies for rented properties
- Arranging finances and payments, including bills and care costs
- Setting up and funding care packages
- Managing tax affairs and preparing accounts
- Preserving access to state benefits and ensuring that they’re claimed
- Completing and submitting annual deputyship reports to the Office of the Public Guardian
- Providing ongoing advice and case management depending on the individual’s evolving needs
When should I appoint a professional Deputy?
Acting as a Deputy for a loved one can be incredibly challenging, and requires you to spend a lot of time and energy on making important decisions on that person’s behalf. If there is no one suitable or willing to take on that responsibility, or they feel too overwhelmed to continue doing so, it is worth instructing a professional Deputy to ease the burden.
Many families also instruct a professional Deputy when they cannot agree on who should be their loved one’s Deputy. In this case, a professional Deputy can step in to act as an impartial substitute.
What are the benefits of appointing a professional Deputy?
By appointing a professional Deputy, you can rest assured that your loved one’s needs are taken care of by an experienced professional.
One of the main benefits of appointing a professional Deputy is that they are impartial; when a loved one loses capacity, families can find it incredibly stressful and emotional and find it hard to make a decision. They can not only make those decisions but help avoid or settle conflicts of interest, too.
Aside from making decisions, a professional Deputy such as a solicitor will have access to other experienced professionals or specialists such as financial advisers who can help the person and their family or friends.
One of the most time-consuming elements of being a Deputy is the administrative responsibilities. A professional can take this on alongside any legal elements that you require.
What’s the difference between a lay Deputy and a professional Deputy?
A professional Deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions relating to property and financial affairs on behalf of an individual who lacks capacity. They are normally a professional and it is part of their job, e.g. a solicitor.
A lay Deputy is typically a close friend or relative of the person lacking capacity, and their role is not part of their profession.
In particularly complex cases, the Court of Protection will usually appoint a professional Deputy, especially if there are high-value properties or assets involved, or if the case involves a clinical negligence claim, for example.
Who pays for a professional Deputy?
The cost of a professional Deputy is usually paid by the person who lacks capacity through their estate.
In cases where there has been an award of damages for personal injury or clinical negligence, the costs of the Deputy are often included in the claim and are paid for by the Defendant.