What does my life look now after settlement with a Professional Deputy?
5 Min Read
If you have been going through the litigation process for personal injury or clinical negligence for a very long time, that comes a lot of expert appointments and meetings and once settlement is agreed, it’s hoped that you can have the fullness of life wherever possible and move forward into a new chapter.
Deputyship can be very onerous and involve a great deal of time and work and if you are a parent of a child who has suffered a clinical negligence or a wife or husband who has been supporting your spouse through a personal injury, you may not want to take on this additional role and that’s where we can come in and support you.
We offer Professional Deputyship services where our Trust Corporation, FATCL, is appointed by the Court of Protection to act for a person who doesn’t have the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their property or finances.
Usually, we would be introduced mid-litigation so we can support with maximising and managing the claim and also, so we can support with the transition post settlement.
As a Court appointed Deputy, our aim would be to work with you, your family, and your case manager to establish your objectives post settlement and find out how you would like to spend the settlement award, for example on a new property. We would then put a plan and budget in place together.
One of the first steps post settlement, is for us to invite independent financial advisors (IFAs) to meet with you or your family and provide their recommendations on cash holdings and investments so your settlement award can bring about a return and last for as long as possible. One of the IFAs would then be chosen and we would meet with them on an annual basis to update them on annual budgets and anticipated annual expenditure and they would then provide cash flow analysis and an investment update. If necessary, they would also consider and advise on cash withdrawals and review benefit entitlement and complete tax returns as required.
If a property purchase was a key objective, which is usually is, we would ask the IFA to look at affordability and confirm a property budget to include purchase and adaptation costs. You or your family could then research the property market and speak to estate agents to find your forever home. This is often an exciting time and something to look forward to post-settlement.
As your Deputy, we would need to make an application to the Court of Protection for authority to purchase a property on your behalf as we don’t automatically get this authority with our Deputyship Order. This can take 6+ months but if a property is found, we can ask the Court to expedite the Order, so you don’t miss out on the property. We would need to make sure we were managing expectations and being realistic in terms of timescales at the Court and it’s for this reason, we would usually recommend that you look for a property once we have authority from the Court.
On settlement, we would also ask the Court of Protection to review your level of security which is a type of insurance which protects your settlement award in the event of any misuse of funds. We would include this in the application requesting authority to purchase a property.
We would also prepare 3 years’ annual budgets with the help of your case manager and submit this to the Court along with the IFA advice and investment recommendations report.
We would also liaise with multi-disciplinary teams to discuss care packages, equipment needs, and personal allowance budgets and we would also manage payments of all domestic bills and care fees, as well as the collection of DWP benefits, pensions, investment income etc.
When a property is found, we would arrange a buildings survey and deal with the instruction and ongoing communication with a conveyancing solicitor. We would also appoint an architect / project manager to oversee the adaptation works and a housing OT to ensure the property meets your needs. We would work closely with you, your family and case manager throughout the process and have regular site meetings.
The first couple of years post settlement is often the busiest period in terms of our Deputyship involvement, but when a property is in place and a care package and team is working well, our involvement decreases and we would deal with more general matters on an ongoing basis i.e., collection of income, payment of expenses/bills, arrangements of annual gas and electric inspections, insurance renewals, preparation of annual budgets and so forth.
We would visit at least once a year in person for the annual deputy visit and we would also arrange and partake in the annual investment review meetings.
We hope this gives you an idea of what life would look like post settlement with a Professional Deputy in place, and we would be very happy to discuss this in more detail and see if we can be of any help here at Enable Law.