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Frustration with the Court of Protection

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Emily M, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    Today I received two identical letters from the COP saying that they had not heard from me regarding my appointment as deputy for my mother's financial affairs and not providing security.

    My mother died just before they sent the letter appointing me and my step-father as deputies. I sent them a copy of her death certificate by recorded delivery and I have proof that this was delivered. Also with this letter I sent proof that my mother had been on Guaranteed Pension Credits with a form requesting that my step-father received back the £400 that should never have been paid as she was entitled to fee exemption.

    Six weeks on after receiving no reply I sent an e-mail reminder with copies of the correspondence and proof of delivery of my original letter. I was told it had been passed to a manager then everything went quiet again until I received the letters today.

    I want to put the upset of my mother's illness and death behind me now and receiving letters like this does not help, especially as they seem to have lost her death certificate. I now have to waste time replying to this; I have no intention of phoning as it will take at least half an hour to speak to someone.

    I would very much like to deal with one individual at the COP, but that seems impossible. I am now at the point of making an official complaint about the way this has been handled, (or not handled) and would like to know how to go about this.
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
  3. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
  4. Jon60

    Jon60 Registered User

    Feb 7, 2016
    Also frustrated

    Dear Emily M,

    I was comforted to read your post as it reassured me I am not the only one experiencing problems with the COP.

    I am caring full time for my mother who has dementia and am her Power of Attorney. I get some help with this from my sister but none from anyone else. Last November I received a letter from the COP saying they had received an "anonymous" complaint that I was financially abusing my mother. My sister and I are both aware this complaint has been made by our brother who lives in London who has not even visited my mother for over 10 years. I sent the COP all the documents they requested to prove there was no financial abuse. But the COP will not give me or our solicitor any definitive result of their investigation despite repeated requests.

    As you'll know yourself caring for someone with dementia is stressful enough, but then to be falsely accused of financial abuse, and then not to be able to get any feedback from the COP is hugely frustrating to the point where the stress is beginning to get me down.

    Hopefully we will both get some resolution soon.



  5. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015

    I am so sorry to hear your story Jon. Your case is a lot worse than mine which is only the matter of claiming back money that should never have been paid and trying to get someone in the COP to realise that they have received all the documents.

    I am amazed that they haven't even replied to your solicitor. The whole department needs a big shake up. I think we all need to make as much fuss as possible until we get answers - official complaints, write to our MPs, etc.
  6. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    At last! Some success with the Court of Protection

    After the saga lasting over 5 months, of sending e-mails and letters to the Court of Protection and 5 weeks after I first posted this thread I have achieved success. They have finally sent a cheque for £400 payable to my step father. This is a refund because my mother never should have paid the fee as she qualified for exemption on the grounds that she was in receipt of Guaranteed Pension Credits.

    They have also apologised and said they are "re-evaluating" their internal processes to avoid letters being sent out, like the one I received, asking for security to be paid by deputies after the COP has already been informed that a person has died.

    They are also treating my letter as a formal complaint. As far as I am concerned it is an end to it, though if they can come up with ways to improve their processing system then it will be good for everyone.

    The COP EX160A exemption of fees form is extremely confusing and if I could I would post a copy of a completed one on Talking Point so that it might help others who may be applying.

    I would also like to give the following advice about e-mailing the COP. Never sent a reply to an e-mail they send you. Always respond by forwarding your response with their original e-mail as a new e-mail to them. The reason I say this is that if you reply to the person who sent the e-mail you don't always get a response. If it is forwarded as a new e-mail to the COP it is their policy to reply within 5 working days.

    It also goes without saying that you should keep all your correspondence and quote reference numbers each time you write to them.

    If you phone the COP be prepared to have to wait at least half an hour in the queue before speaking to anyone.

    Finally, be persistent and never give up as this is the only way you get results!

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