The Role of the Court of Protection and the Deputy in Personal Injury Proceedings
The role of deputy during the course of the litigation obtaining Deputyship Order and setting up Deputyship Account to receive monies from Interim Award and final compensation award in due course.
Assisting the family and the litigation Solicitor in identifying items of special damages to be included in the Special Damages Schedule. Especially, those relating to future care needs of the Claimant, Court of Protection fees and Deputy Costs, for case management and the cost of any property to be acquired for the Claimant and the associated legal and professional fees.
Obtaining all appropriate authority from the Court of Protection to utilise compensation awards made by way of interim payments.
Liaising with Builders, Architects and other professionals during the course of any adaptations to the property and arranging for stage payments to be made and liaising with family and architects as to progress of work and any snagging lists etc.
Post Settlement Role of the Deputy
We as the Professional Deputies become involved in the life of the Claimant.
We help to deal with any family issues and his financial dependency.
We also advise at what point we should involve the Court of Protection and also when to start dealing with the Office of the Public Guardian, who are the protective bodies governing the Deputyship.
Our main role is to manage the Claimants compensation and to ensure that this is invested to provide for them going into the future. (However, please note that we will appoint independent financial advisors to provide us with the most suitable investments for the Claimant)
Involvement of the Deputy in the life of the Claimant
As Deputies we are bound to follow these five statutory principles:-
A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that they lack capacity;
A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help him to do so have been taken without success;
A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because he makes an unwise decision;
An act done, or decision made, under this Act for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done or made in his best interests;
Before the act is done, or the decision is made, regard must be had to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of a person’s rights and freedom of action.
The five principles are the fundamental way we do our job as a Deputy and we have to take these into account when we are making decisions and acting in the Claimants best interests and we also have to have regard to the guidance given to us in a Code of Practice.
In relation to any decisions we have to make as Deputies, we are only allowed to do so as far as we have authority, which is given to us by the Court of Protection, via the Deputyship Order. Any decisions, we have to make, that are not covered by the Order, and we have to make a special application to the Court to have permission granted by them to proceed.
Once the Personal Injury Claim has provided an Interim Payment/Settled
We will have built a relationship with you during the claim. This is so that we can assist with any interim payments that are paid out during the claim and also to ensure that once we receive the final settlement figure we can ensure that the money is dealt with to last throughout the Claimants lifetime.Our main aim is to ensure that we manage the expectations of the client and ensure that all parties who become involved in the process are acting in his best interests.
Our Role as the Financial Deputy
Following the final settlement of the claim the normal focuses are as follows (provided they have not already been dealt with by way of interim payment):-
Purchasing property or equipment
Instructing architects regarding adaptations to the property for the client
Arranging the relevant cash flow for payment of builders in adapting the property project managed by the architect
Purchasing an adapted vehicle
Arrange Insurance, Road Tax for the vehicle in relation to the person who will be driving
Liaise with financial advisors in relation to longer term investment of funds and ensuring that at all times we are getting the best interest rates on all funds
Ensure the client is receiving all the benefits that they are entitled to
If required, employing a case manager to oversee a care team
Arranging a care package (if required), this can include preparing contracts of employment, organising payroll, tax and national insurance, dealing with any conflicts or issues that arise and dealing with any discipline/dismissal and tribunal actions
Liaising with family and support staff (if required) in relation to budgeting for holidays
If the client is living independently, depending upon their ability, deal with the regular payments of services of the property
Preparing an annual budget to assist with monitoring funds, projecting for the future, all of which have to be reviewed constantly
Making payments to the clients, paying bills, paying third parties for services or goods, providing money for holidays and trips and activities and any one off requirements for funds that might be requested at certain times
Buying specialist equipment for the client
Please note that this list is not exhaustive. In every instance all decisions relating to capital purchases /annual expenditure etc will be dealt with by us fairly and reasonably, with giving a significant regard to the annual budget that will be agreed on a yearly basis. The annual budget will be discussed and agreed through careful planning and budgeting with you and the financial advisor. This budget will be tailored to the Claimants specific circumstances.
Our main aim is to always ensure that at all times the best interests of the Claimant are achieved.
Extremely happy with the outcome of my Personal Injury Claim and can only thank Paul McCarthy and his team at EAD Solicitors and also Tim Trotman my barrister arranged by EAD, for all their work and efforts on my behalf. As such I would highly recommend EAD to anyone in need of their service. Once again thanks to all involved.
Brodie Martin, Merseyside
Excellent, very professional, approachable when I needed advice. I would just like to say thank you to your staff.