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  1. #1
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    Court Of Protection Fees

    My wife is applying now to be a Deputy. As we don't have a lot of funds (same for her mother for whom she wants to be a deputy) we have applied for certain exemptions. It all seems pretty daunting and we really have no choice as there is no one else to do it! We are about to post all the forms now. We are not engaging a solicitor due to the immense cost that could occur during the deputyship period (several years maybe!).

    Does anyone have experience of the costs say for the Bond and really the general experience of handling the court process?

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
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    I became a Deputy for my husband last June. I did the application myself for the same reason you did - to save wasting money on a solicitor, especially as it did seem that they didn't seem to do that good a job anyway and at least I wanted to do the right thing for my husband.
    As my husband has an occupational pension, he was not eligible for any exemptions.
    I (he) paid the 400 application fee plus another 400 for permission to sell a jointly-owned holiday chalet. These were flat rates, however the Bond is dependent on the size of the estate and our's was under 100. Registration with the OPG once the Deputyship was granted (about 3 months in our case), cost 100, but I believe this has increased this year. The supervision fees payable to the OPG were variable, again dependent upon the level of supervision allocated but this has been altered recently to a flat feel of over 300, which I find particularly galling as we would have been paying far less previously. The lowest level of supervision is now free.

    That's very brief but I hope it helps.

  3. #3
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    Rodger,

    There are numerous fees that will need to be paid either to set up the deputyship or for the ongoing supervision/audit of accounts etc. Any fees do not fall to you to be paid but to your mother in law, as does the cost of applying for deputyship in the first instance. This is something which should be included in the wording of the deputyship order that you ask the court of protection to approve. You say that neither you nor your mother in law have much money, so my first question to you is to consider why you feel deputyship is necessary. I can understand it being necessary, for example, if there is real estate involved or if the person has a large amount of savings that would be required to fund care etc. If your mother in law has less than 14,500 in the bank and no property then any care fees, for example, would be met by the local authority. In this type of scenario, say, where someone's only income is state pension then you can manage their affairs by becoming an appointee for the receipt and management of pension payments from the DWP.

    As we don't have more specific details about your mother in law's position it is hard to discuss deputyship in any great detail other than to give you an indication of the cost of obtaining and maintaining it which saffie has done already for you.

    If you want to come back and discuss this some more before sending the forms off then there are many on here who will share their experiences with you I am sure.

    Fiona

  4. #4
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    There are numerous fees that will need to be paid either to set up the deputyship or for the ongoing supervision/audit of accounts etc. Any fees do not fall to you to be paid but to your mother in law, as does the cost of applying for deputyship in the first instance.
    Actually, Fifimo, there shouldn't be any other fees apart from those I have already mentioned. Auditing of accounts is not necessary unless the OPG find fault with the anuual report and as Rodger has intimated that the finances involved will not be massive, the necessity for this should not arise. Indeed, at the lowest level the annual report is not essential either.The involvement of accountants etc. is discouraged as one has to prove that the employing of one is essential according to the guidelines now issued to new deputies.

    I assume, Rodger, that as you have already applied for exemptions, you have already made the application for deputyship and that an LPA was no longer an option. I've a feeling that an Appointeeship requires mental capacity too, but may be wrong on that count as it didn't apply to my husband anyway due to the afore mentioned occupational pension and shared holiday chalet ownership.

    I hope you are granted the exemptions on your mother-in-law's behalf - it has to help!

    Best of luck.

  5. #5
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    "... I've a feeling that an Appointeeship requires mental capacity too, but may be wrong on that count..."

    An appointee can only be made if the pensioner is incapable

    "5000 An officer of grade EO (Executive Officer) or above acting on behalf of the Secretary of
    State can authorize someone else to act on a customer’s behalf only if the customer is
    incapable of managing their own affairs. This is called an appointment to act and the person
    or organization appointed to act is called an appointee.
    NB: An appointment must never be made because it is ‘convenient’ either for the
    Secretary of State or prospective appointee. An appointee is not appropriate if the customer
    is simply unable to get to the bank, building society or post office. Nor is it appropriate
    simply because the customer no longer wishes to manage their own affairs."

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/part-05.pdf

    It is a simple way of handling a situation where an incapable person has little or no assets. The appointee opens a special BF57 account in their own name to handle the cash flow of the state pension.

  6. #6
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    The whole point of getting appointeeship with the DWP is so that you can manage their pensions & benefits because they are no longer able to due to not having capacity.

    I got appointeeship before I received the LPA (which takes a long time) and it was so much easier to sort things out for my mother then. In fact I found out she was able to get Pension Credit by doing this.

  7. #7
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    I think I might have to go down the Court of Protection route soon too. Owing to a mix up with the LPA forms the OPG wouldn't file them and I had to appeal to the COP who also refused. At that time I was exempt from the fees. However changes in circumstances mean I will no longer be exempt even though I can't afford the fees. The OPG website says the court "may decide" I can recover the fees from my mum but I'm worried about cranking up huge debts on my credit card and then the OPG turning round and saying I can't.

    Until now I haven't had to bother with this as I am a third party agent on her bank accounts and was made an appointee for her state pension. We'd managed to get most of her bills paid by direct debit and her mail was redirected to my address once she moved into care. She has a property but it's a mobile home which counts as 'moveable property' and doesn't form part of her assets for social services purposes.

    Trouble is, the post office only redirects mail for 2 years and this expired last October; just when my m-in-law was taken ill, subsequently died and we have been dealing with all that. I took my eye off the ball and only recently noticed her 2 small occupational pensions have been stopped because the payslips have been returned to sender! One firm has sent me forms to become her appointee which has to be approved by their trustees; the other want a change of address form signed by mum or a letter from mum to say I can act for her. That ain't going to happen as she no longer even knows who I am. Aaaaaagh! Now I have to write to them, explain all the above and their legal team have to decide if there's any way round it short of COP. And of course social services keep asking if her property has been sold yet - though she doesn't have to and it suits me not to as it's proving useful while my children are at uni and we can't afford holidays And anyway, her friend's one is still for sale 3 1/2 years after she died.

  8. #8
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    "...the other want a change of address form signed by mum or a letter from mum to say I can act for her. That ain't going to happen as she no longer even knows who I am...."

    You will probably have to ultimately go down the deputy route but for this particular case you could try a letter from the care home confirming that your mum is a resident but unfortunately unable to sign.

    EDIT
    Is your mum listed on the electoral register as a resident at the care home?
    Last edited by nitram; 16-04-2012 at 09:23 AM.

  9. #9
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    hi nitram
    I don't know if she's registered on the electoral roll. Are people who have lost mental capacity allowed to vote? She wouldn't understand anything about that anyway.

  10. #10
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    "...Are people who have lost mental capacity allowed to vote? ..."

    Strangely ,yes, another outcome of the Mental Capacity Act

    People with learning difficulties or mental health conditions
    5.3 A lack of mental capacity is not a legal incapacity to vote:
    persons who meet the other registration qualifications are eligible for registration regardless of their mental capacity or lack thereof. Electoral Registration Officers should therefore ensure that persons with learning difficulties or mental health conditions are included in the register of electors.

    http://www.electoralcommission.org.u...March-2010.pdf

    Not suggesting that your mother should vote but she has a right to be on the electoral roll which can often prove useful. If she is not on the roll she can apply now, contact the LA to find out how, be prepared to quote "Electoral Registration Officers should therefore ensure that persons with learning difficulties or mental health conditions are included in the register of electors." from above.

    A Power of Attorney does not extend to voting rights but if the voter appointed a person to vote as proxy and the voter then became mentally incapable depending on the wording of the proxy the person might be able to vote.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the info nitram. Mum is on the register at the home and I tried that line with the pension co. but they said it's not sufficient in itself for them to change her address, but I can add the info to the letter I have to write and it may help persuade the trustees. So now to polish my letter writing skills and powers of persuasion.

 

 

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