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Inheritance and Welfare Solicitor Ciara Hannawin discusses Deputyship Orders

Recently in the Times newspaper, Frances Gibb reported how a concerned family member challenged the conduct of a professional Deputy.

Gideon Sklair had an accident five years ago, which meant he could no longer manage his financial affairs. He was awarded £3.32m in damages and the Court of Protection appointed a Solicitor to be his Deputy and look after his money.

Mr Sklair’s Uncle alleged that the money had not been invested in a timely and appropriate manner. He approached the Office of the Public Guardian (the Court’s administrative arm) and it carried out an investigation.

Every Deputy has significant duties and responsibilities. They must always act in the best interest of the person they represent and they are personally liable for the decisions they make. However, there is minimal guidance readily available. A Deputy needs to accept that their every move can be scrutinised.

The breakdown of the relationship between a professional Deputy and a client’s family can be very damaging. The most common issue is lack of clear communication. Open and regular discussions of the client’s current and future needs will help. If you have concerns about a vulnerable person, take some initial advice. If they have a professional Deputy, speak to them about it.

Early action and clear communication should avoid costly Court investigations.  

Contact us about our Inheritance & Welfare Team who can advise you today

Please call 0800 916 9055, or email enquiries@rjwslatergordon.co.uk. Our Inheritance and Welfare specialists operate across the country and can offer immediate and accessible representation anywhere in the UK.

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