Clients lacking capacity to manage their financial affairs are supported by a professional deputy
When an individual lacks capacity to manage their financial affairs due to an injury, a deputy (typically a family member) will be appointed by the Court of Protection to manage their finances for them.
A deputy is authorised to deal with all aspects of finances including paying utility bills, employing a care team, buying a house and managing funds received in settlement of a claim for injury and benefits.
Where an individual has a significant claim for compensation, the Court of Protection’s preference is for a professional deputy to be appointed to manage the funds. This permits family members to focus their energies on supporting the injured person as their partner/parent/sibling/offspring. The costs of a professional deputy will be included as a head of loss in the litigation claim.
In the Compensation Protection Unit we work closely with our client and their family to build a strong and lasting relationship with them and the other professionals including case managers, therapists and financial advisors. We believe that in working together as a team we can provide optimum legal advice and support for our clients, ensuring decisions are made in their best interests to produce the right outcome for them.
Using our Team Around the Client approach we understand that decisions around finances are integral to our client’s lives and that only through a collaborative approach with our clients, their families and the other professionals in their lives can we really understand our client’s needs. We recognise that all our clients are individuals and their circumstances, and consequently their needs, are individual. Our experience allows us to provide expert support whilst ensuring our approach is tailored to each individual and we focus on what is important to each client.
The individuals in the CPU who make up the professional deputy team have extensive experience in supporting clients and their families throughout the claims process and post settlement. The first few years after a claim is settled can often be challenging as clients finally have the funds to enable them to adapt and optimise their life, such as to buy and convert a property. We recognise the increased pressure this can place on our clients and their families and are here to provide expert support. We also understand that some individuals will want to increase their independence and we work with those clients to provide a budget which they can personally manage.
We act as Deputy for a number of clients through our Trust Corporation, Withy King Trustees Limited. We take an individualised approach ensuring clients build a trusted relationship with one Director of the trust corporation who essentially acts as the deputy. The trust corporation however allows us to ensure that clients needs are still met if that individual director is unable to make decisions due to a holiday or sickness. We also have a team working approach to ensure that clients can speak to someone who is familiar to them even when the directors are unavailable.