Paige George, an executive in our private client department, answers some questions about 'Deputyship' Orders...
Q. My Uncle John has dementia and is getting behind on paying his bills. What can I do?
A. First of all, check whether your Uncle has a valid Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney in place. If he doesn’t then you can apply for a Court Order to give you authority to deal with his affairs. A ‘Deputyship’ Order is there for those who do not have the mental capacity to make decisions about their affairs on their own.
Q. How do I apply for a Deputyship Order?
A. I would initially suggest seeking legal advice so that a professional can guide you through the application process, as the forms are very lengthy and complex. You will need to do the following:
- Provide all of your uncle’s personal information such as his full name, date of birth, address, National Insurance Number and name and address of his GP
- Provide full names and addresses of relatives/friends you can notify of the application
- Find a copy of your uncle’s Will, if he has one
- Collate details of your uncle’s annual income and benefits, if he receives any
- Make a note of details of your uncle’s bank account(s) - the name of the bank, account number, sort code and up-to-date balance. You can do the same for your uncle’s investments too
- If your uncle is in a care home, the court will require details of the annual costs of his care and any other liabilities that he pays
Once you have collated all of this information and completed the forms and declarations they can be posted to the Court of Protection with the court fee.
Q. I have read that there is more than one type of Order that can be applied for; what one should I apply for?
A. You’re right, there are two types of Orders. One is to deal with property and finances and the other is to deal with health and welfare. I would suggest applying for the property and finances, so that you can make sure all of your uncle’s bills can be paid. From experience, it isn’t common for the Court to appoint a Deputy to deal with an individual’s health and welfare, unless there is a dispute over his care or treatment.
Q. How long does it take to receive the Order from the Court?
A. A rough guide from applying to receiving the Order is four to six months. Part of the application process will be to get your uncle’s doctor to complete a capacity assessment form to confirm whether he has capacity or not, and that can take some time.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. To appoint a legal professional to apply to the court for the Order on your behalf costs £950 + VAT. There is also a court fee of £385 payable. Once the Order has been issued, there are annual fees that will need paying. There is a one off deputy assessment fee of £100 and a yearly supervision fee of £320. If your uncle’s assets are below £21,000 then the yearly supervision fee is no longer payable.
Q. I cannot fund the legal costs as I only work part time can I get any help with this?
A. The fees payable throughout the process are payable from your uncle’s monies. If your Uncle’s monies are limited you can apply to the Court for help with the fees.