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If you are appointed as a Deputy or Attorney dealing with a relative or friend’s property and finances the effects of the Coronavirus may have impacted on their care arrangements.
Paying your family members or friends for care
Often the people appointed as Deputies and Attorneys are related to, or friends of, the person they are acting for. This means in times of crisis other family members or friends will wish to step in to provide support.
Attorneys or Deputies have to ensure that they, or their family and friends, do not benefit from their appointment so there is a potential conflict of interest if they, their family or friends, are paid for care
The guidance from the Office of the Public Guardian is very clear. Unless there is permission for a specific family member to be paid for care in the Lasting Power of Attorney or Court Order you need permission from the Court of Protection. This safety net ensures that these care arrangements are in the best interests of the person needing the care.
Without a Court Order permitting payment to those family members or friends you could be required to repay the care payments.
Reaching a decision to pay a family member or friend for care
As the Attorney or Deputy you need to go through a decision making process, and be able to evidence this to the Court, before applying for permission to pay a family member or friend for care.
Here are a number of the issues to consider:
If you decide to pay a friend or relative for care then you should make an application to the Court of Protection. Applications are currently taking 9-12 months so I strongly recommend you contact the Office of the Public Guardian before making any payment.
Even if you do this the Court of Protection may not grant authority for you to pay the carer and, if you have already paid them, you may be required to repay those monies back.
The application to the Court of Protection is complex and you need the right information to persuade the Court to authorise the payment from the protected party’s funds.
If you wish to take further advice on this or make an application to the Court of Protection, please contact Veronica Male, our Court of Protection specialist, on 01788 557 574 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about being a Deputy and applications to the Court of Protection please visit our Court of Protection pages
For information about acting as an Attorney please visit our attorney pages.