Court of Protection
Having 2 out of the 3 Wales Court of Protection Deputies within the Company, Swayne Johnson is recognised as one of the leading Court of Protection specialists in England and Wales.
The Court of Protection exists to look after the financial affairs of those people who no longer have the mental capacity to do so themselves. The Court does not intervene without an application by relatives or others such as friends or neighbours who may have become concerned about someone and their apparent inability to manage their own affairs satisfactorily.
The Court of Protection is not an organisation to be feared or dreaded and, indeed, its role is to be welcomed. The sole interest of the Court is the person whose affairs need to be looked after.
The Court will ensure that a Deputy is appointed to act on behalf of the incapacitated person. The role of the Deputy is to act, in the best interests of the person for whom they are appointed. The Deputy can be a family member or can be a professional. Dependent upon the needs of the person concerned and the nature of that person’s affairs, the role can be time consuming. Whilst using a family member can appear to save expense, using a professional also will provide a degree of expertise and independence that will not be available from a close family member in all cases. If, in a particular case there is a dispute arising within the family or amongst any friends who are seeking to be appointed, then the independence of a professional Deputy will be invaluable.
The Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017
The Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 came into effect on 31 st July 2019. Also known as Claudia’s Law, it provides for the appointment of a person to take charge of a missing person’s finances while they are missing, to ensure that their affairs are dealt with appropriately.
Until this date, no -one had the power to do this, and this situation resulted in many lives being affected by the impact of a missing person. Claudia’s Law was enacted after Claudia’s father, Peter Lawrence, backed by the Charity Missing People, campaigned for this law to fill the gap which left a missing person’s affairs in abeyance for years. Claudia went missing in 2009, and despite police investigations, has never been found.
If a person is missing for over 90 days, the Court can now appoint a Guardian to protect their property and affairs and act in the missing person’s best interests. As Court of Protection Panel Deputies, and Court of Protection specialists, Solicitors at Swayne Johnson are used to acting in this role and an help families at this difficult time in their lives. Claudia’s Law is going to be incredibly useful to families who are already in considerable distress in these situations. It will enable the practical aspects of a disappearance to be managed with the authority of the Court, something which has not been available before now.
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) oversees Deputies and ensues that accounts are submitted and that Deputies act in accordance with their Court Order.
Swayne Johnson can offer considerable help to the families and friends of persons who through illness or accident have become mentally incapacitated. We deal with over 60 Deputyships, ranging from clients with brain injuries, to clients who have dementia.
We have two Panel Deputies within the company – professionals who have been recognised by the OPG as having the necessary skills, expertise and back office support for the role.
Our Panel Deputies – Sarah Noton and Yvonne Hughes – are further strengthened by Deputies Lynette Viney-Passig and Siân Thompson both of whom have been appointed as experienced Professional Deputies for a number of years. We have a team of lawyers and Legal Assistance to carry out Court of Protection work and we offer an opportunity to speak to one of our Deputies without charge on Court of Protection issues so that you can decide if you need assistance.
We can advise not only on obtaining a Court of Protection Order and the management of it but also on linked issues such as Tax Planning for the incapacitated person and drawing up a Statutory Will.
Select from one of our Probate Law specialists to help you with your legal issues.