Powers of attorney: too risky?
Dr Rosa Malley
Becoming a deputy is only the first part of a long and onerous journey. As specialists in Court of Protection work we can support you in this very important role.
Once you are appointed, there are a number of important steps that you will need to take. These include opening a deputyship account, registering your Order with financial institutions, registering with HMRC, setting up a record keeping system to account for the decisions you take, and possibly appointing an accountant or an investment advisor. This, of course, isn’t an exhaustive list.
You will also need to ensure you do not exceed the powers granted to you in your Order and that you understand your responsibilities under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The accompanying Code of Practice is a very helpful publication that all deputies would be wise to consider purchasing.
On an annual basis you will need to prepare and submit an account of your dealings with the financial affairs of the person you are asking for, answer any supervision queries from the Office of the Public Guardian and also submit a tax return on their behalf.
You are not expected to become a legal expert overnight and it is perfectly acceptable to seek help and guidance. You may also want specialist advice on issues such as statutory Wills, gifts, tax planning and the sale or purchase of property. The cost of this advice will usually be paid from the funds of the person you are acting for.
If you are unsure of how to deal with something, or matters become overly complicated, it is always better to seek advice before things go wrong and we are here to help.
If you are concerned about a loved one and the decisions their deputy may be taking on their behalf, we can also help. If all the deputy needs is a little support and guidance then we can assist you to do so. If more drastic action is required we can advise you on all the options available to you, even as far as applying to Court for their removal and replacement by a different deputy.
“You have been understanding to my circumstances and supportive to my family. I feel assured that any information I'm unsure about is been explained to me. Having a child with complex needs can be challenging and requires quick results and sensitivity goes a long way.”
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