Diane Vincent
Chartered Legal Executive
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Date Published:11 Mar 2016 Last Updated:14 Apr 2021

What is a Deputy?

Wills, Trusts & Probate

The name may conjure up all sorts of images of the Sheriff and his counterpart from a John Wayne or Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western but a Deputy (previously called a Receiver) is a person who is appointed by the Court of Protection to deal with a person’s property and financial affairs when they are either physically, or mentally, incapable of managing their own affairs. On rare occasions the Court will also allow a Deputy to be appointed to make decisions in regard to a person’s health and welfare too.

Whilst a person has “sufficient mental capacity” they can choose a trusted person to act as their Attorney (under a Lasting Power of Attorney). However, if a person is unable to choose someone to act on their behalf then a Deputy can be appointed and supervised by the Court to act in the person’s best interests.

Sometime people have Deputies appointed to assist them because they have learning difficulties or Down’s syndrome. From time to time Deputies are appointed for people who are in a coma following an accident. However in Poole and Bournemouth the most common reasons for a person having a Deputy appointed is due to a deteriorating condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

To make the application you need to complete a series of forms which provide the Court with details about the person who requires help – such as their financial background, their health, their family, where they live etc.

The Court also makes enquiries about the Deputy and requires the Deputy to pay a Security Bond. This is a kind of insurance policy to ensure that the Deputy will deal with the person’s finances appropriately.

The Deputy’s actions are supervised and they have to submit financial accounts to the Court each year for approval.

An application for Deputyship can take around six months to set up due to the sheer number of applications the Court receives and has to process.It can then take several further weeks to register the Deputyship Order with the Banks and other organisations to enable the Deputies to deal with the all of the financial affairs efficiently.

The Deputy can either be a member of the person’s family, a family friend or a professional. At Ellis Jones we often appoint the Partners to act as Deputies for vulnerable clients. We work together with a range of Dorset based financial advisors and care providers to ensure that the Client is well looked after, that they are homed comfortably and that their property and investments are managed effectively. This is particularly relevant if funding is required for future care fees.

If you have any questions or need advice on Deputyship please contact Diane Vincent via email diane.vincent@ellisjones.co.uk or call 01202 709898.