Any person who has a Deputyship Order in their favour, on behalf of another person, needs to ensure that they adhere to certain steps and requirements as and when that person dies.
Some of these steps include:-
- The Practical Steps when a Court of Protection Order ends due to death.
- Final Financial Reports required by a Deputy.
- What happens to your “Security Bond”?
- Can the local or national media be allowed to report on your case?
If you are reading this article, it is likely that you hold the responsibility of Deputyship over a friend or a loved one, and therefore are fully aware of what the Court of Protection is, and equally what a Deputyship is. If not then please read our Deputyship and Court of Protection articles (here and here) first to get an understanding of the lifetime steps and requirements for this specific court order.
If an application to the Court of Protection is successful, those who are appointed Deputy, understand and appreciate the ongoing involvement with the Court during the course of the lifetime of the person who lacks capacity; known as the Patient (“P”). The Court’s involvement equally can continue after the death of P, even though on death any Court Application or Order will cease.
There are however practical steps that need to be taken to formally bring the Court’s involvement to an end.
(1 & 2) Practical Steps & Reports
If there is a Deputyship Order in place at the time of P’s death, then the Court will need to make a further Court Order officially discharging the Deputyship. Before they do so, the Court may request the Deputy to produce a final Financial Report on P’s finances. Equally, the Public Guardian may decide that a Financial Report is not necessary in your case.
(3) Security Bond
Each year the appointed Deputy will need to pay a Security Bond from the Court in order to act under a Deputyship Order. It should be noted that this bond paid to the Court will remain in force for 2 years from the date of death of P unless the Court decides otherwise.
A Deputy must remember that any Court Order, and the obligations on them contained within it, will remain enforceable until either the Court orders otherwise, or if there is a time limited imposed in the order, then that time period has elapsed. The death of P does not automatically bring your Court Order to an end.
The final point that you need to consider is that the standard position of the Court of Protection is that all proceedings are held in private, with no one present except for the immediate parties in the proceedings, their legal representatives and the Judge. When the Court during lifetime proceedings made any Orders restricting the reporting of information about a case, part of the Court’s ongoing role is to again decide whether such Orders should continue post-death.
What should you do?
As we can see, on the death of P, your responsibility as Deputy do not immediate cease. The additional steps that need to be taken can be varied and complicated, especially in a time where you are likely already experiencing stress and grief. At Barrett & Co our specialist Court of Protection solicitors in the Private Client department can assist in making the process easier on your family and/or friends. We offer an initial £95.00 fixed-fee one hour appointment where we can talk you through your options and assist you in this difficult time.
Please contact our team on 0118 958 9711 or [email protected]
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Get in touch
Hilary Buckle offers a fixed fee initial meeting of one hour to discuss your personal circumstances, your options and your next steps, at a cost of £95 (inc VAT).
Hilary specialises in all aspects of private client work, including Wills, trusts and probate matters. She is a member of the Thames Valley branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) and an associate member of ACTAPS (the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists).
If you would like to know more or arrange a fixed fee appointment, please email her at [email protected] or call her on 0118 958 9711.