Council applying for deputyship - unsure of all the implcations

busymummyof2
busymummyof2 Posts: 19
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edited 12 October 2023 at 10:54AM in Marriage, relationships & families
I'm probably posting a little prematurely regarding this but I want to make the right decision and do whats best.

I lost touch with my dad about 15 years ago after many years of only receiving birthday  and Christmas cards.  I have tried to find him (he moved) and his brothers family without any luck.

A couple of days ago I received a letter from a county council stating they were applying for deputyship as he's no longer able to make decisions for himself.  I have spoke to the council and understand that this is a health condition thats been going on for a while and he was taken into hospital the previous weekend.  i have asked for my details be passed to my aunt (uncle has passed away), a family friend they mentioned and also his social worker. I'm yet to hear anything back.

I'm not sure whether I should applying for deputyship myself as his only daughter or to leave to the council.  what would the implications be of the council doing this. I'm not financially able to provide any support to my dad as a single parent who is struggling to get by myself each month but would hate for the council to take all he has.  He owns his own home as far as I'm aware.

Once i know more about his health and financial situation I feel I'll be more able to make an informed decision.

Sorry for the ramble, but any advice or things to consider would gratefully received.

Comments

  • sammyjammy
    sammyjammy Posts: 7,302
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    Why do you think they would take all he has?  If he has assets its right that they are used to fund his care so he gets the best he can.  If they apply for deputyship they have to act in the best interests of your dad.
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  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,320
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    edited 12 October 2023 at 12:16PM
    Are you sure they are asking for a health and welfare deputyship because those are quite unusual? The court tends to take the view that the best interest process it’s perfectly adequate in most cases without a deputyship being needed and if an urgent serious medical decision was needed and there was a dispute it should go straight to court anyway.

    As you have have had no contact with  him for 15 years then it’s very unlikely that you would stand in - for whatever reason (and I say this is someone estranged from my own father) he has chosen not to maintain contact, and those wishes should be respected regardless of blood relationship.

    It’s more usual for financial deputyship to be applied for if someone has significant assets and loses capacity before they’re able to make a power-of-attorney. In the area where I work, although the council start the process off they do not act as financial deputy, this goes out to a court approved solicitor. It’s a very slow process and it was taking 18 months or so - tends to be needed if someone cannot return home but has a property they need to sell, for example.
    The deputy would be required to act in his best interests and ensure his care was paid for if he was a self funder, whether it was a family member, a solicitor or the local authority. 


    There would be no obligation on you to provide any financial support with you are his deputy or not.

    https://www.wilsonbrowne.co.uk/guides/the-role-of-a-court-of-protection-deputy/#:~:text=A%20deputy%20for%20property%20and,care%20and%20treatment%20they%20receive.

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  • BrassicWoman
    BrassicWoman Posts: 3,200
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    the council applied for a welfare deputyship for my parent with my blessing, because I lived far away and felt unable to do the task well. They still asked for my opinion of what my parents wishes would have been on lots of matters, as did the care home.

    Financial, however, was managed by a solicitor, so there was no conflict of interest.
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  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,838
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    If you lived conveniently close to this local authority, my answer might be different, but as it is, I'd agree with @BrassicWoman. It's a lot of work and responsibility, its a long-winded process which could be difficult for you.

    I hope you may be able to restore some kind of relationship with your dad, but you'll be better placed to do that if you're not involved in his finances. 

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  • Gavin83
    Gavin83 Posts: 8,730
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    As someone who has PoA for my Nan who is currently in care I can confirm it’s a lot of work. At times it feels like another full time job.

    I used to work for the council in the department who dealt with financial assessments. The guardianship team used to sit behind me. They weren’t there to take all the money. They were a very caring team and would act in the best interests of the person as anyone with that authority should. Ultimately if contact exists I think it’s right the family cover this role but the council team is a fair substitute. The same team will also organise funerals if no one else is able.

    Just so you’re aware there was a charge for this service. I can’t remember the cost but it wasn’t much.

    Whatever money is left upon death will be distributed as per the terms of the will and the council involvement makes no difference to that.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,838
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    Gavin83 said:

    Whatever money is left upon death will be distributed as per the terms of the will and the council involvement makes no difference to that.
    Or, if there's no will, according to the rules of intestacy. 
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