Professional Deputy Dismissed for Health & Welfare Negligence

Power of Attorney, Court of Protection, Will-Making, The Wilkes Partnership, Birmingham, Solihull

Sophie Fenn is a Solicitor at The Wilkes Partnership who specialises in Will-Making, Probate and Estate Administration, Trust Administration and Creation, and Powers of Attorney.

Sophie has particular expertise in working with and on behalf of vulnerable clients including practicing in the Court of Protection concerning decision-making for those lacking mental capacity to do so with respect to their health, welfare, property and financial matters.

In this article Sophie comments on how the role of a property and financial deputy is not limited to simply finances but how welfare matters also need to be considered.

In a recent case in the north of England, the Court ruled that a professional deputy should be removed from office because they were operating in a “prism” of their own.

A deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection when an individual lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves. Normally the appointment relates to financial decisions but the Court also has jurisdiction over health and welfare decisions. In this case, the financial deputy failed to interact with the professionals who were looking after the individual’s health and welfare, her living and care arrangements as well as her deprivation of liberty.

The lady’s diet, appearance and pet dog had all been important to her before her stroke and the Court was clear that they should all be considered by her deputy who was making decisions on her behalf. The Court concluded that the professional deputy had been lacking in her duty of care in these respects and subsequently should be removed from her position in the best interests of the vulnerable individual.

The Court of Protection team at The Wilkes Partnership have extensive experience acting as deputies for individuals and making decisions in their best interests. Having worked in the field for many years they are familiar with the need to get other professionals involved and look at an individual’s general circumstances not just their bank balances and legal issues.

The Wilkes team strongly believes that someone’s interests, lifestyle and choices should be taken into account in their later years just as much as they should be when their decisions were their own.

For further advice and information, please contact Sophie Fenn of The Wilkes Partnership Solicitors on 0121 733 8000 or email sfenn@wilkes.co.uk