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Whether or not to apply to become deputy

Gingerlilly35

New member
Oct 12, 2021
3
0
Hello all,
I have a question please about the pros and cons of becoming a court appointed deputy. My father-in-law was diagnosed with vascular dementia a couple of years ago but up until August was living alone in his own home and coping well with the support of regular carers. Unfortunately he had a stroke 3 months ago and his condition has deteriorated rapidly. He has been zipping between hospitals and various assessment bed units for the past 2 months. His social worker wants to do a financial assessment as he has now been deemed to lack mental capacity and cannot live independently. They started an assessment for CHC (following the completion of the CHC checklist) but he became too unwell for them to proceed. He's now a little improved so the assessment should be started again soon.
My question is what is to be gained by applying to become his deputy? He has no POA a small amount of savings and owns his one bedroomed flat. If my husband applies to be appointed his attorney, would we then be responsible for sorting out a care home for him? His assets are not worth a great deal and would probably only fund a couple of years of care home fees by my back of the envelope calculations. Once these have been used up how do we continue to pay for his care home fees? We certainly couldn't afford to fund it ourselves. If we say we don't want to be his deputy, would the LA do it? Would we be involved in any decisions about his care? I've read how arduous being a deputy can be and I just have an awful feeling that the stress of doing this on top of seeing his dad so ill would put a lot of extra weight on my husbands shoulders, weight he does not need right now. If we said we couldn't do it would this negatively impact my father in law at all? Sorry to waffle on but I'm really feeling helpless as to how to be the best help in a very emotionally charged situation.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
4,179
0
If your husband doesn't apply to be his father's deputy the duty will be taken over by someone appointed by social services. I'm sure someone that knows more about it will be along shortly, but my understanding is that you'd have no say in what happened to your father in law's belonging etc.
Becoming a deputy is more arduous than having Power of Attorney but it is doable. My sister in law has recently done it for her mother and though it was a bit of a faff was fairly straightforward. Being the deputy won't make you any more liable for care home fees if the money runs out.
I think you should go for it. Is there someone else who can act as joint deputy, another sibling perhaps? My brother in law was my MiL's carer and he is joint deputy with his sister so he can have his say in decisions, but she is the one doing most of the admin involved.
 

thistlejak

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
151
0
We - husband and I - are Deputies for MIL and were for FIL before he died. Filling in the forms to apply for Deputyship is a bit time consuming but doable if you deal with one form at once. I did forms for both of them at the same time! If you do apply make sure to request that you be able to sell his property - if you don't you need to apply again before it can be put up for sale.
Once you get Deputyship there is some time spent sorting out finances and converting accounts to Deputy accounts - after that it is relatively straight forwards - we are about to start third year for MIL.
Should you choose not to apply and the LA does it you will not get any say about what happens to the house and contents when it is sold.
You will still have input about his care as Deputyship does not cover health and well being only finance. You can ask Social Services or the Hospital social worker to help in finding a care home - we got a list of 8 to shortlist and then see which one would take MIL.
If you don't want to be included in the application you can still assist your husband to complete forms etc - he would have to deal with Banks and selling the house on his own. I would suggest that you both apply - I dealt with paperwork/banks / solicitors and my husband dealt with his mother before she went into care.
Hope this helps .
 

Gingerlilly35

New member
Oct 12, 2021
3
0
Hi Sarasa,
Thank you for your reply. There are two other siblings but no-one willing/able to help. That's very worrying that they might just throw away all of his things. He doesn't own anything of value but of course there will be sentimental items like photos etc we would want to keep. I didn't even think we wouldn't be allowed to save these so thank you for that. I think we may seek some legal advice first.
Many thanks again.
 

Gingerlilly35

New member
Oct 12, 2021
3
0
Hi Thistlejak,
Thank you so much for your reply. I would definitely be helping with paperwork etc as I do already. Interesting point that we would still get to have a say about his care but again I hadn't considered the awfulness of not being able to save family photos and sentimental bits and bobs from his flat. Also a massive thank you for your point about asking for permission to sell the house when applying to be deputy! I had started filling in the forms just in case and didn't know you had to be that specific!
Many thanks again and all the best with your situation.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,451
0
A deputy manages the person's finances it doesn't mean he/ she has to pay anything from his/her own pocket. He owns property. Who is maintaining it? The deputy should be dealing with that and for paying the care home, etc. The deputy makes sure making sure she gets any benefits making benefit claims etc. Plenty to do. Do you not want to do that for him? Isn't that something you want to do for him?
 

Johnny1

Registered User
Aug 24, 2016
5
0
Hi Gingerlilly35,

Another thing to bear in mind is the time it will take to process the application. I submitted mine 19th May this year. I only today, 4th December, received notification my application was successful. Having paid the surety bond, I now have to wait for copies of the court order to be sent to me, that I can then present to my dad's banks, pension scheme etc. So it's a very long-winded process.

It sounds like your FIL's case is rather urgent. If he can't wait that long for your husband to help him with his finances I would recommend you apply for an urgent interim order, ticking 1.3 on the COP1 form and laying out your reasoning. You will have to provide evidence that an emergency order is needed e.g. bill from care home, final reminders of domestic bills that need paying etc. Anything that proves you cannot wait over 6 months for the application to go through the courts, basically.