Diane Vincent
Chartered Legal Executive
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Date Published:22 Apr 2020 Last Updated:22 Sep 2021

Responsibilities and duties as an Attorney or Deputy during COVID-19

Wills, Trusts & Probate

If you are an Attorney or Court of Protection Deputy for a person in England and Wales this may be causing difficulties during these unprecedented times of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Advice from the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is that Attorneys and Deputies, even if they are not able to visit the protected person, cannot temporarily give up or delegate their role. The role remains the same and the Attorney or Deputy must continue to make decisions for the protected person and should not ask anyone else to make decisions for them.

This does not mean that they have to step down from their role due to not being able to visit due to Government guidelines in connection with self isolating or shielding and it would be a drastic step for the Attorney to permanently disclaim their role or for a Deputy to apply to the Court to end the Deputyship permanently. This would not appear to be in the best interests of the protected person and would leave them without someone who could legally assist them with their affairs.

Whilst the current crisis is unprecedented if you are an Attorney, or Deputy, who requires assistance with the above we can provide all the help or guidance you need.

If you are thinking of making Lasting Powers of Attorney it is worth considering appointing professional Attorneys, such as Partners in Ellis Jones, who have considerable experience and expertise in dealing with people’s affairs, even at very difficult times such as these.

If you are aware of someone who needs assistance with their property and financial affairs, but who has lost mental capacity to manage themselves or appoint Attorneys, then we are also able to assist with Deputyship applications.

At Ellis Jones we have an experienced team who are very used to dealing with these types of matters and with the rapidly changing situation regarding COVID-19, we can reassure our clients, both existing and new, that we are still fully operational and able to provide all our legal services remotely and offer support through these difficult times. We have robust expert teams in order to provide our normal level of service online, via email, over the phone or via video conferencing and are doing our utmost to retain “business as usual” during this crisis.

If you wish to discuss any of the above further please contact a member of our expert Wills, Trusts & Probate team on wills@ellisjones.co.uk or on 01202 525333.