A question that we commonly encounter is whether or not you can appoint more than one deputy for property and financial decisions. The simple answer is, yes! The Court can appoint two or more deputies for one person.
In this article, we will discuss Court of Protection deputyship and, in particular, joint deputyship in more detail. Moreover, we will take a look at the reasons why joint deputyship might be preferable depending on your circumstances.
Who can apply to be a Court of Protection Deputy?
You need to be over the age of 18 to apply to be a deputy. Usually, the person appointed will be a close friend or a family member. However, if the Court cannot find a close connection then they might appoint a Solicitor who has expertise in the area. The Court may also appoint a solicitor if there are very complicated decisions to make or there is a very large estate to deal with. This is often the case where someone has an ongoing or settled litigation claim for clinical negligence or personal injury.
Once you are appointed as a deputy, you will be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions about their property and finances on their behalf.
Forms of Joint Deputyship
There are two different ways in which the Court can appoint more than one financial deputy. The first is a joint appointment which requires both deputies to act collectively in all decision making and agree unanimously on any decisions that are made.
The alternative is a “joint and several appointment” which provide the deputies with the authority to make decisions together but also individually. This tends to be the preferred type of appointment, in cases where more than one deputy is appointed, because a joint appointment can be quite restrictive and can cause logistical difficulties for the day to day management of the person’s affairs.
In certain circumstances, the Court can also appoint a deputy jointly in respect of some matters and jointly and severally in respect of others but this type of appointment is rare and there would need to be compelling reasons for such an appointment.
What decisions can I make as a Property and Finance Joint Deputy?
A deputy for property and affairs is able to make decisions about financial matters, such as the paying of bills or buying services. Ultimately, the Court will tell you what decisions you can make as a deputy and you may apply to make more decisions for your friend or relative if you need to.
There are limitations on what you can do as a deputy. For example, you cannot write a will for your friend or relative; delegate large amounts of their money, or put their money into your own name.
Why choose Joint Deputyship?
Appointing more than one person can be a good idea in order to provide greater flexibility and also to ensure that there is long term continuity in decision making. It is also sometimes helpful in complicated cases where the input of a professional deputy can be utilised alongside a family member who understands the person’s needs.
A professional deputy can assist with technical parts of the deputyship, such as preparing the annual accounts, whilst the family member makes the day to day financial decisions. This dynamic can work really well. When there are complex decisions such as investments or property adaptations, the professional deputy is then on hand to provide their expertise and ease the burden on the family member.
As with all professional appointments, whether that be a joint and several appointment or a sole appointment, the key point is to maintain good communications between those involved. This is vital to ensure that all relevant information is considered and that everyone concerned is involved in the decision-making process. We will always advocate that one of the most important parts of being involved in deputyship work is to make sure that you are easy to contact and people can easily talk to you about sensitive issues. Without this, it is not possible to ask people to trust you.
Planning Joint Deputyship with Price Slater Gawne
We hope you have found this article on joint deputyship for property and financial affairs helpful. If you would like to discuss the appointment of deputies or making changes to existing arrangements then please contact us on 0161 6155554, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via web chat at www.psg-law.co.uk. Our team of experts will be pleased to help you!