What happens if you don’t appoint a Power of Attorney?
What happens if a friend or family member lacks the capacity to manage their financial affairs? What is the next step?
When this situation arises, there is a lot going on, and often financial matters take a back seat to looking after a loved one.
There is never a good time to bring up who should look after affairs when a loved one no longer lacks the capacity to handle financial matters.
It is therefore beneficial for all parties to ensure plans are in place so no legal matters get in the way of making financial decisions, which could impact the care needed for the friend or family member.
However, what happens if they haven’t made a valid Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney?
In these circumstances, a deputyship application would have to be made to the Court of Protection.
What is a deputyship application?
A deputyship application is usually made by a family member, friend or professional person such as a solicitor to ask the Court of Protection to make an order appointing them as a property and affairs deputy. This allows them to make financial decisions on behalf of someone who lacks the capacity.
How long does it take?
Once the application has been submitted to the Court of Protection, the deputyship order is usually issued within four months. However, the process can take longer if circumstances are not straightforward or if a case hearing is required.
How much does it cost?
The Court fixes a solicitor’s fee for a straightforward deputyship application at £950 plus VAT.
However, in more complex cases, these fees can increase and will usually be assessed by the Senior Courts Costs Office.
In addition, the following fees will also be payable:-
- assessment of capacity fee charged by the doctor or psychiatrist (anything from £50 to £450);
- £365 Court of Protection application fee;
- annual security bond (a type of insurance policy to protect the finances of the person who lacks capacity) which is set by the Court, based on the value of the person’s assets;
- £100 appointment of new deputy fee;
- supervision fee payable to the Office of the Public Guardian. The fee payable depends on the level of supervision required, but for general supervision is £320 per annum.
If you compare the above costs with those involved with preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney, for which we currently charge £350 (plus VAT and registration fee of £82), then it’s clear to see that forward planning can save you a significant amount of both time and money.
For help and advice with this matter, visit our page on Wills, Probate & Lasting Powers of Attorney + Trusts or call us on 01943 609969 .