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Appointeeship and Deputyship FAQs

Welfare benefits, carer cards and money
management for vulnerable people FAQ’s

Appointeeship - FAQ's

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

No, DWP appointees do not have the legal authority to access a person’s private bank account unless they have been specifically granted that authority by the person or by a court order.

Where the person has consented for their appointee to access their personal bank account, then it must be clear, that the person has the ‘decision specific’ capacity to be able to weigh up and understand this decision.

It may be appropriate to have this decision-specific understanding documented in a separate mental capacity assessment as best practice to avoid any challenges about the persons ability to consent to someone accessing their personal bank account by banks or other organisations.

View this video on the Money Carer YouTube channel

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

The primary power for appointeeship is in the Social Security Administration Act 1992, detailed in section 5. This forms the basis for how appointees are legally and procedurally administered.

This gives the power to make the appointee regulations. Regulation 33 of the  Social Security Claims and Payments Regulations 1987 is for older, legacy benefits. For the new style benefits, that is, Employment Support Allowance, Job Seekers Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, and Universal Credits, it is regulation 57 of the Claims and Payments Regulations 2013

Appointeeship is not governed by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. That was deliberate because the DWP wanted to retain control of the appointeeship process and detail. However, the Act’s five underpinning principles are built into the appointeeship process.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

View this video on the Money Carer YouTube channel

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

If a person is living in supported housing, a care or nursing home and is receiving welfare benefits and a social care package and the are incapable of managing their own finances, they may need a corporate appointee to help to manage their welfare benefit payments and legal responsibilities.

A Corporate Appointee is an organisation, such as The Money Carer Foundation, that is authorised by the Department of Work and Pensions to manage a vulnerable person’s benefits and to act in their best interest and free from any conflict of interest.

A Corporate Appointee is usually appropriate when no identifiable, or suitable, relatives or close friends can be approached.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

An appointee has to be aged 18 plus and can be a family member or trusted friend or a specialist organisation whom the DWP can authorise to become the person’s corporate appointee.

The local council can also act as the appointee, although there can be conflicts of interest when local authorities become appointees. As such, many local authorities are choosing to partner with organisations such as Money Carer. Many local authorities do not have enough resources to provide an appointeeship service, which is another reason they cannot take on the role.

Some care providers also still act as appointees however, again, due to the conflicts of interest, these arrangements are increasingly being discouraged by local authorities and the care services regulator as not reflecting best practice.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

The rationale behind making someone an appointee is that they will have regular contact with the service user and their circle of care. This may become problematic when the appointee lives overseas.

If a client with an existing appointee moves overseas and the appointee who is staying in the UK indicates that they wish to retain the role, the DWP will discuss the position with the appointee.  Unless there is someone near to where the client is moving or an organisation that is able to take on the role, then it is possible for the existing appointee can remain in place.

If the appointee wishes to remain the appointee but moves abroad with the customer remaining in the UK then it may be more suitable to consider involving a new appointee or a Corporate Appointee service such as The Money Carer Foundation to resume responsibility for the required appointeeship.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

Yes, but possibly with some difficulty.

The reality is that it can be quite difficult for a DWP appointee to open a bank account with a high-street bank.

This is because an appointee does not have the same level of authority that a court of protection deputy or lasting power of attorney has. Although some banks do offer a very basic bank account for DWP appointees the process of opening an account can be long-winded and quite involved.

Some bank accounts that are available to appointees also have restrictions such as balance limitations as low as £3000 in some cases. This means that for many appointees, these restrictions don’t make the bank account practical or fit for purpose.

If you are an appointee or deputy for a loved one, you can open an FSCS-protected bank account easily on our banking platform in the same way that many solicitors and local authorities do. Just contact us and our banking services team will be happy to help. Open an appointee bank account here.

 

 

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

If the current appointee no longer wishes to act and nominates another person or organisation, or if the individual is unhappy with their appointee, and has the capacity to choose an alternative appointee, they can request this.

The existing appointee would, however, need to agree to relinquish their appointeeship with the DWP, and the new appointee would need to apply by completing a BF56 document and sending it to the DWP.

Before any change of appointeeship, the DWP will need to be assured that the request to change the legal appointee is actually in the best interest of the benefit claimant.

Oftentimes, appointeeship change requests can be simple expressions of unhappiness relating to access to additional money requests by the individual. The appointee, however, may have valid reasons, or wider safeguarding concerns, that form the basis of their decisions around access to funds that could otherwise put the individual at risk.

It is important to acknowledge, that whilst the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and its 5 underpinning principles, allow for the ability of individuals to make ‘unwise decisions’, the Act was not designed to avoid difficult decision-making by practitioners in order to safeguard vulnerable people.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

An appointee must inform the DWP if there is any change in a person’s circumstances that may affect their welfare benefits, including changes of address or bank account details.

The amount of benefits an individual can claim can be affected by the amount of savings they have. For example, means-tested benefits will typically be stopped if a benefit recipient has savings of £16,000 or above. Welfare benefit payments for means-tested benefits are reduced when a person’s capital breached £6000, however.

The appointee will check the balance of savings for their client regularly and inform the DWP, by letter, when the total amount of savings reaches the levels that may affect a benefit claim.

An appointee does not have the authority to deal directly with banks or with capital or other income belonging to the incapacitated person. An appointee does, however, have the authority to deal with an incapacitated person’s Post Office account.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

If the person does not have any friends or relatives to act as an appointee, then The Money Carer Foundation or another suitably experienced organisation can apply to become the DWP appointee.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

When a person with an appointee passes away, the appointee must notify the Department for Work & Pensions to inform them of the passing at the earliest opportunity. The DWP may require a copy of the official death certificate also.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

The minimum age to act as an appointee is 18 years old.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

No. Unlike Lasting Power of Attorney agreements or Court of Protection deputyship orders, there can be only one legal appointee.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

Yes.

Social services can request an appointee as part of the best interest or safeguarding decisions. Social workers regularly request appointeeships when undertaking care plan assessments.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

An appointee may resign if they are no longer able to carry out the role by giving one month’s written notice to the DWP

The DWP also has the power to revoke the appointeeship.  If there is evidence of an appointee not acting in the best interests of the claimant, the DWP must be informed and they will investigate such claims.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

The appointee can be nominated for a temporary period, for example following an accident or a short-term illness. In fact, many appointeeships are temporary in so much as the service user may simply need assistance for an interim period.

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Deputyship - FAQ's

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

In general, anyone who is over the age of 18 and has the capacity to manage financial and property affairs can be appointed as a deputy for property and finances. However, it is important to note that being a deputy is a significant responsibility and requires a high level of trust and competence.

Here are some common types of individuals who may be appointed as a deputy for property and finances:

  1. Family members or close friends: Often, family members or close friends of the person who needs assistance are appointed as deputies. They may have a good understanding of the person’s wishes and preferences and can act in their best interests.
  2. Professional deputies: If there are no suitable family members or friends, a professional deputy may be appointed. This could be a solicitor, accountant or other professional with experience in managing financial and property affairs.
  3. Local authorities: In some cases, a local authority may be appointed as a deputy for property and finances, particularly if there are concerns about abuse or neglect.

It is important to note that being a deputy for property and finances is a serious responsibility and requires a high level of trust and competence. Therefore, anyone who is appointed as a deputy should be able to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and experience to manage the person’s affairs effectively and in their best interests.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

Yes, the Court of Protection can recommend a deputy for property and finances.

When an application is made to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy, the court will consider whether it is necessary to appoint a deputy and who is best placed to act in the person’s best interests.

In some cases, the court may recommend a particular person or professional as a suitable deputy for property and finances. However, the final decision on who to appoint as a deputy will be made by the court after considering all the evidence and taking into account the person’s best interests.

It is important to note that the Court of Protection is a specialist court that deals with issues related to mental capacity and decision-making. It has the power to make decisions and appoint deputies on behalf of individuals who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves.

The court’s overriding concern is always the best interests of the person who is the subject of the proceedings.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

Yes, a deputyship can be temporary. In the UK, the Court of Protection can appoint a deputy for a fixed period of time if it is deemed necessary. This is known as a “limited deputyship” and may be appropriate in situations where the person is expected to regain capacity in the near future.

For example, if an individual is undergoing medical treatment or therapy that is expected to improve their mental capacity within a set period of time, a limited deputyship may be appropriate. In this case, the deputy would be appointed for a fixed period of time and would have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the person during that period.

It is important to note that a limited deputyship may not be appropriate in all cases, and the court will consider all the evidence before making a decision on whether to grant a limited deputyship or a permanent deputyship.

In general, a permanent deputyship is more commonly granted when the person’s capacity is unlikely to improve, or if there are ongoing concerns about their ability to manage their financial and property affairs.

View this video in the Money Carer YouTube channel

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Power of Attorney - FAQ's

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Power of Attorney - FAQ's

The costs involved in setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for property and affairs can vary depending on several factors, including where you live and whether you choose to use a solicitor or complete the process yourself. Here are some of the potential costs you may incur:

  1. LPA application fee: In England and Wales, there is a fee of £82 per application to register an LPA for property and affairs.
  2. Solicitor fees: If you choose to use a solicitor to set up your LPA, you will need to pay their fees. The cost of using a solicitor can vary, but it’s usually several hundred pounds.
  3. Certificate provider fees: You will need to have someone sign your LPA to confirm that you understand what you are doing and that you are not being pressured into it. This person is called a certificate provider, and they may charge a fee for their services.
  4. Copying and postage fees: You may need to pay for photocopying and postage costs to send your LPA application to the Office of the Public Guardian.

It’s worth noting that if you receive certain means-tested benefits, you may be eligible for a reduced or waived application fee.

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Appointeeship - FAQ's

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

No, DWP appointees do not have the legal authority to access a person’s private bank account unless they have been specifically granted that authority by the person or by a court order.

Where the person has consented for their appointee to access their personal bank account, then it must be clear, that the person has the ‘decision specific’ capacity to be able to weigh up and understand this decision.

It may be appropriate to have this decision-specific understanding documented in a separate mental capacity assessment as best practice to avoid any challenges about the persons ability to consent to someone accessing their personal bank account by banks or other organisations.

View this video on the Money Carer YouTube channel

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

The primary power for appointeeship is in the Social Security Administration Act 1992, detailed in section 5. This forms the basis for how appointees are legally and procedurally administered.

This gives the power to make the appointee regulations. Regulation 33 of the  Social Security Claims and Payments Regulations 1987 is for older, legacy benefits. For the new style benefits, that is, Employment Support Allowance, Job Seekers Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, and Universal Credits, it is regulation 57 of the Claims and Payments Regulations 2013

Appointeeship is not governed by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. That was deliberate because the DWP wanted to retain control of the appointeeship process and detail. However, the Act’s five underpinning principles are built into the appointeeship process.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

View this video on the Money Carer YouTube channel

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

If a person is living in supported housing, a care or nursing home and is receiving welfare benefits and a social care package and the are incapable of managing their own finances, they may need a corporate appointee to help to manage their welfare benefit payments and legal responsibilities.

A Corporate Appointee is an organisation, such as The Money Carer Foundation, that is authorised by the Department of Work and Pensions to manage a vulnerable person’s benefits and to act in their best interest and free from any conflict of interest.

A Corporate Appointee is usually appropriate when no identifiable, or suitable, relatives or close friends can be approached.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

An appointee has to be aged 18 plus and can be a family member or trusted friend or a specialist organisation whom the DWP can authorise to become the person’s corporate appointee.

The local council can also act as the appointee, although there can be conflicts of interest when local authorities become appointees. As such, many local authorities are choosing to partner with organisations such as Money Carer. Many local authorities do not have enough resources to provide an appointeeship service, which is another reason they cannot take on the role.

Some care providers also still act as appointees however, again, due to the conflicts of interest, these arrangements are increasingly being discouraged by local authorities and the care services regulator as not reflecting best practice.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

The rationale behind making someone an appointee is that they will have regular contact with the service user and their circle of care. This may become problematic when the appointee lives overseas.

If a client with an existing appointee moves overseas and the appointee who is staying in the UK indicates that they wish to retain the role, the DWP will discuss the position with the appointee.  Unless there is someone near to where the client is moving or an organisation that is able to take on the role, then it is possible for the existing appointee can remain in place.

If the appointee wishes to remain the appointee but moves abroad with the customer remaining in the UK then it may be more suitable to consider involving a new appointee or a Corporate Appointee service such as The Money Carer Foundation to resume responsibility for the required appointeeship.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

Yes, but possibly with some difficulty.

The reality is that it can be quite difficult for a DWP appointee to open a bank account with a high-street bank.

This is because an appointee does not have the same level of authority that a court of protection deputy or lasting power of attorney has. Although some banks do offer a very basic bank account for DWP appointees the process of opening an account can be long-winded and quite involved.

Some bank accounts that are available to appointees also have restrictions such as balance limitations as low as £3000 in some cases. This means that for many appointees, these restrictions don’t make the bank account practical or fit for purpose.

If you are an appointee or deputy for a loved one, you can open an FSCS-protected bank account easily on our banking platform in the same way that many solicitors and local authorities do. Just contact us and our banking services team will be happy to help. Open an appointee bank account here.

 

 

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

If the current appointee no longer wishes to act and nominates another person or organisation, or if the individual is unhappy with their appointee, and has the capacity to choose an alternative appointee, they can request this.

The existing appointee would, however, need to agree to relinquish their appointeeship with the DWP, and the new appointee would need to apply by completing a BF56 document and sending it to the DWP.

Before any change of appointeeship, the DWP will need to be assured that the request to change the legal appointee is actually in the best interest of the benefit claimant.

Oftentimes, appointeeship change requests can be simple expressions of unhappiness relating to access to additional money requests by the individual. The appointee, however, may have valid reasons, or wider safeguarding concerns, that form the basis of their decisions around access to funds that could otherwise put the individual at risk.

It is important to acknowledge, that whilst the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and its 5 underpinning principles, allow for the ability of individuals to make ‘unwise decisions’, the Act was not designed to avoid difficult decision-making by practitioners in order to safeguard vulnerable people.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

An appointee must inform the DWP if there is any change in a person’s circumstances that may affect their welfare benefits, including changes of address or bank account details.

The amount of benefits an individual can claim can be affected by the amount of savings they have. For example, means-tested benefits will typically be stopped if a benefit recipient has savings of £16,000 or above. Welfare benefit payments for means-tested benefits are reduced when a person’s capital breached £6000, however.

The appointee will check the balance of savings for their client regularly and inform the DWP, by letter, when the total amount of savings reaches the levels that may affect a benefit claim.

An appointee does not have the authority to deal directly with banks or with capital or other income belonging to the incapacitated person. An appointee does, however, have the authority to deal with an incapacitated person’s Post Office account.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

If the person does not have any friends or relatives to act as an appointee, then The Money Carer Foundation or another suitably experienced organisation can apply to become the DWP appointee.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

When a person with an appointee passes away, the appointee must notify the Department for Work & Pensions to inform them of the passing at the earliest opportunity. The DWP may require a copy of the official death certificate also.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

The minimum age to act as an appointee is 18 years old.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

No. Unlike Lasting Power of Attorney agreements or Court of Protection deputyship orders, there can be only one legal appointee.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

Yes.

Social services can request an appointee as part of the best interest or safeguarding decisions. Social workers regularly request appointeeships when undertaking care plan assessments.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

An appointee may resign if they are no longer able to carry out the role by giving one month’s written notice to the DWP

The DWP also has the power to revoke the appointeeship.  If there is evidence of an appointee not acting in the best interests of the claimant, the DWP must be informed and they will investigate such claims.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

The appointee can be nominated for a temporary period, for example following an accident or a short-term illness. In fact, many appointeeships are temporary in so much as the service user may simply need assistance for an interim period.

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Deputyship - FAQ's

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

In general, anyone who is over the age of 18 and has the capacity to manage financial and property affairs can be appointed as a deputy for property and finances. However, it is important to note that being a deputy is a significant responsibility and requires a high level of trust and competence.

Here are some common types of individuals who may be appointed as a deputy for property and finances:

  1. Family members or close friends: Often, family members or close friends of the person who needs assistance are appointed as deputies. They may have a good understanding of the person’s wishes and preferences and can act in their best interests.
  2. Professional deputies: If there are no suitable family members or friends, a professional deputy may be appointed. This could be a solicitor, accountant or other professional with experience in managing financial and property affairs.
  3. Local authorities: In some cases, a local authority may be appointed as a deputy for property and finances, particularly if there are concerns about abuse or neglect.

It is important to note that being a deputy for property and finances is a serious responsibility and requires a high level of trust and competence. Therefore, anyone who is appointed as a deputy should be able to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and experience to manage the person’s affairs effectively and in their best interests.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

Yes, the Court of Protection can recommend a deputy for property and finances.

When an application is made to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy, the court will consider whether it is necessary to appoint a deputy and who is best placed to act in the person’s best interests.

In some cases, the court may recommend a particular person or professional as a suitable deputy for property and finances. However, the final decision on who to appoint as a deputy will be made by the court after considering all the evidence and taking into account the person’s best interests.

It is important to note that the Court of Protection is a specialist court that deals with issues related to mental capacity and decision-making. It has the power to make decisions and appoint deputies on behalf of individuals who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves.

The court’s overriding concern is always the best interests of the person who is the subject of the proceedings.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

Yes, a deputyship can be temporary. In the UK, the Court of Protection can appoint a deputy for a fixed period of time if it is deemed necessary. This is known as a “limited deputyship” and may be appropriate in situations where the person is expected to regain capacity in the near future.

For example, if an individual is undergoing medical treatment or therapy that is expected to improve their mental capacity within a set period of time, a limited deputyship may be appropriate. In this case, the deputy would be appointed for a fixed period of time and would have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the person during that period.

It is important to note that a limited deputyship may not be appropriate in all cases, and the court will consider all the evidence before making a decision on whether to grant a limited deputyship or a permanent deputyship.

In general, a permanent deputyship is more commonly granted when the person’s capacity is unlikely to improve, or if there are ongoing concerns about their ability to manage their financial and property affairs.

View this video in the Money Carer YouTube channel

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Power of Attorney - FAQ's

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Power of Attorney - FAQ's

The costs involved in setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for property and affairs can vary depending on several factors, including where you live and whether you choose to use a solicitor or complete the process yourself. Here are some of the potential costs you may incur:

  1. LPA application fee: In England and Wales, there is a fee of £82 per application to register an LPA for property and affairs.
  2. Solicitor fees: If you choose to use a solicitor to set up your LPA, you will need to pay their fees. The cost of using a solicitor can vary, but it’s usually several hundred pounds.
  3. Certificate provider fees: You will need to have someone sign your LPA to confirm that you understand what you are doing and that you are not being pressured into it. This person is called a certificate provider, and they may charge a fee for their services.
  4. Copying and postage fees: You may need to pay for photocopying and postage costs to send your LPA application to the Office of the Public Guardian.

It’s worth noting that if you receive certain means-tested benefits, you may be eligible for a reduced or waived application fee.

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