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Banner 3, Independent Court of Protection Specialist Solicitors, Boyes Turner
Aug
16

Former Senior Judge warns of risks with Powers of Attorney

Yesterday an eminent former member of the judiciary spoke on the BBC about his concerns with Powers of Attorney. Denzil Lush was the most senior judge at the Court of Protection from 1996 until he retired in July 2016. He knows a thing or two about Powers of Attorney and Deputyship.

There has been a huge push over the years for people to make Powers of Attorney, and for good reason. We never know what might happen to us, or when. For those who suffer a brain injury, or even a physical injury, having a Power of Attorney in place can mean that if you need help your finances can be looked after immediately by someone that you trust.

However, today Denzil Lush highlighted an important concern. Some people make Powers of Attorney without having the right advice or an opportunity to think about the consequences or the alternatives. The people you appoint in your Power of Attorney may not be the best people to manage your property and finances, and it could lead to a breakdown in the family relationship. For vulnerable people it could lead to financial abuse like that which Frank Willett suffered.

The former Senior Judge said that for him, the alternative – a Deputyship – was the better option. There are many reason why he thinks that. For one, there is more supervision of the person acting on your behalf if they are a Deputy appointed by the Court. They have to produce accounts each year. They will be visited on a regular basis to make sure everything done properly and you are looked after. With Deputyships, there is also a security bond, which protects the value of your estate if the person acting on your behalf acts outside of their authority. The downside is that you will have little or no say in who is appointed to manage your financial affairs, and it can sometimes take several months for someone to get the authority they need to manage your finances. A Deputy can only be appointed once someone has lost capacity.

Former Senior Judge Lush said he would not make a Power of Attorney. For him, the Deputyship systems was a better one. For me, the Power of Attorney system would work well. This is a personal choice that we all need to consider. It’s about what is right in your own circumstances, and getting the right advice.

For advice on a Lasting Power of Attorney and Deputyship call one of our specialists on 0118 959 7711 for a free initial discussion.

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Aug
7

Top 10 ways a deputy can save money!

I act as a property and finance Deputy for many clients. This means I am appointed by the Court to make decisions about finances when they are unable to make the decision themselves.

I always try to save clients money. After all, I would do the same if it was my own money.

Here are my Top 10 ways in which we have saved clients money:

One

  • Always negotiate on estate agents fees. Recently we have saved a client £5,000.

Two

  • Negotiate on fund manager’s fees. In certain cases they will cap the annual fee which recently meant that we were able to save the client over £40,000 over a ten year period.

Three

  • Make sure you compare quotes on car insurance. We were able to save a client £1,600 by making one telephone call.

Four

  • Always negotiate on rent especially if paying six months up front.

Five

  • It is possible to negotiate the interest rate paid by the Bank so as to receive a slightly higher rate.

Six

  • Ensure that you apply for all entitlement to State funding and that State Benefits are reviewed annually.

Seven

  • We have reclaimed the VAT on equipment for disabled clients and where adaptations have been made.

Eight

  • We have been able to obtain Council Tax reductions where properties have been adapted. On one occasion I was able to arrange to have this backdated 10 years!

Nine

  • We always review the education and health care plans for students under the age of 25 so as to ensure that all therapy that should be included is included so that it is correctly paid for by the local authority and not privately funded.

Ten

  • Clients who receive annual periodical payments should always ensure that the calculations from insurers or from the NHSLA are checked carefully as it is not unknown for there to be errors which need to be corrected.

There are many other ways we can save clients money which is one of the benefits of appointment a professional Deputy. For more information please contact us on: advice@cop-solicitors.co.uk or call 0800 884 0722.

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May
30

Brain Injury Group

Brain Injury Group

Brain Injury Group

The Court of Protection Team are now members of the Brain Injury Group. This is a national network of specialist brain injury lawyers and other experts that provide access to a complete package of care and support for people affected by brain injury.

Our Court of Protection Team represents clients affected by brain injury through both deputyship and trusts and our partnership with the brain injury group enhances the support we can give.

We are now on a panel of experts that can assist with many types of Court of Protection applications.  By being part of the Brain Injury Group we now also have access to the UK’s leading provider of independent mental capacity assessments as well as to a specialist independent financial adviser.

For assistance with any Court of Protection enquiries please contact the specialist team on 0800 884 0722 or email cop@boyesturner.com.

 

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