We manage property and financial affairs for individuals who lack capacity and have no-one else able to support them.
What we do
Hampshire Client Affairs Service manages the finances and property of people who meet all of the following criteria:
- They are over 18 years old
- They receive support from the Adults’ Health and Care department
- They have been assessed by a professional to lack capacity to manage their own finances
- They have no-one else in their network that is willing, able or suitable to act on their behalf
We do this through becoming someone’s ‘corporate appointee’ for their Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits, and, if necessary, being appointed as their property and financial affairs ‘Deputy’ by the Court of Protection.
Explanation of terms
An appointee can be an individual or an organisation and they are responsible for managing a person's state benefits. They should check that the person is receiving the correct benefits and keep this money in an account separate to their own. The money can then be used for paying bills and providing funds to the person for their needs and purchases.
Appointeeship may be the best option if the person has a low level of financial assets, is in receipt of benefits and doesn't have any other sources of income.
If the person who lacks capacity has more complicated financial circumstances (for example, if they own a property, have more than £3.5k savings or income that is not paid by the DWP) it may be better to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as their property and finances Deputy.
The Court of Protection
Once the Court of Protection has received an application they consider the evidence and if they are satisfied that the person requires a deputy they make a decision as to who should be appointed. The individual the application is about, and their close friends and family, should be notified of the application to the Court and the outcome. The Court also makes decisions about removing deputies or attorneys that are not acting properly.
Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)
The OPG is the supervisory arm of the Court of Protection their main function is to protect individuals who lack capacity from risk, by making sure that deputies are fulfilling their role in accordance with the principles of the Mental Capacity Act. The OPG also requires full details of what the deputy has done to be sent to them in an annual report.
Whether we look after a person’s financial affairs under appointeeship or deputyship, we adhere to the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the standards set by the Office of the Public Guardian.
It is important to us to involve the individual themselves and their close associates in the decision making process and to maximise freedom of choice wherever possible. We will visit at least once per year to discuss any plans or wishes that our client has to enable clear financial planning and can always be contacted by letter, phone or email to discuss any desired expenditure.
We work closely with other care professionals to ensure that our clients are protected from exploitation and wherever possible, empowered to utilise their resources in ways that accord with their wishes, beliefs and lifestyles.
Where we manage a case under appointeeship, we make no charges for our services.
Where the Court of Protection appoints us to act as Deputy, there are fixed rates of remuneration which are set by the Ministry of Justice. They are:
|Categories||An amount not exceeding:|
|Category I - Work up to and including the date upon which the court makes an order appointing a deputy for property and affairs.||£745|
|Category II - Annual management fee where the court appoints a local authority deputy for property and affairs, payable on the anniversary of the court order. Management costs are assumed to cover any incidental costs incurred in management of P's affairs with the exception of those mentioned under paragraph 20 below|
|(a) for the first year:||£775|
|(b) for the second and subsequent years:||£650|
|(c) Where the net assets of P are below £16,000, the local authority deputy for property and affairs may take an annual management fee not exceeding 3.5% of the person’s net assets on the anniversary of the court order appointing the local authority as deputy.|
|(d) Where the court appoints a local authority deputy for health and welfare, the local authority may take an annual management fee not exceeding 2.5% of P’s net assets on the anniversary of the court order appointing the local authority as deputy for health and welfare up to a maximum of £555|
|Category III - Annual property management fee to include work involved in preparing property for sale, instructing agents, conveyancers, etc. or the ongoing maintenance of property including management and letting of a rental property or properties where 'P' is a tenant.||£300|
|Category IV - Preparation and lodgement of a report or account to the Public Guardian||£216|
Category V -
Preparation of a Basic HMRC income tax return (bank or NS&I interest and taxable benefits) on behalf of P
Preparation of a Complex HMRC income tax return (bank or NS&I interest, taxable benefits, small investment portfolio) on behalf of P
Address Client Affairs Service, Hampshire County Council, The Castle, Winchester, SO23 8UQ
Phone 01962 832135