Why professional deputies need to be appointed in Court of Protection matters
A recent case highlights the dangers of managing a substantial living allowance on behalf of a vulnerable person without appropriate advice or knowledge.
The sad case of Samantha Svedsen has seen the prosecution of her mother and her mother's partner for stealing up to £500,000 of Samantha's funds which should have been there for her long term care. The mother was appointed as Samantha's deputy and was supposed to be looking after the funds for her daughter. The money disappeared over several years even though the Court requires an annual account of expenditure to be submitted each year to the Office of the Public Guardian. Limited resources mean they simply cannot check and review matters thoroughly but the sum represents a significant amount of the £2.6m Samantha was awarded due to negligence at her birth.
Glen Miles our Court of protection panel deputy commented that "it is now common practice to have a professional deputy appointed in such cases so that parents can concentrate on being parents and I can worry about the financial needs of the vulnerable person for the long term. We have lots of highly qualified professionals we can call on to assist us in meeting people’s needs and it is important to start long term planning right from the start of the matter. Samantha's case is very sad but not uncommon in my experience".
Unfortunately there is a growing wealth of cases where attorneys or deputies are being removed for mismanagement of finances or being sued by disappointed beneficiaries.
For more information on court of protection matters and to start a conversation on how we can help you please contact Stella Mullane, Associate, Private Client.
Published: 21 Nov 2013