Professional Deputies manage the property and financial affairs of adults who are deemed mentally incapable of doing this themselves, and have no family or friends that could, or want, to assist them with this vital day-to-day task.
The seven overriding beliefs, ideals & values that Professional Deputies consider vital to the way we go about our work are:
3. To act in the best interests of our clients.
4. To carry out our duties and responsibilities to the best of our abilities.
5. To act professionally at all times in all business conducted.
6. To be willing to find innovative solutions to problems.
7. To be committed to offering value for money.
Our Director, Darren Leggett, recently had a virtual interview with Andy Riddle, the Managing Director of Professional Deputies, who answered some questions about the way Professional Deputies work, and how they help not just the general public but solicitors and law firms across the UK.
Professional Deputies – tell us who you are, and what you do?
I’m Andy Riddle and I’m the Managing Director of Professional Deputies. Professional Deputies was formed in April 2011 (yes, ten years old next month!) with the aim of providing an all-round money management system for some of the most vulnerable members of society.
Prior to setting up my firm I spent 11 years working for a large number of local authorities throughout the country as a consultant, setting up and advising on the best way to manage vulnerable client’s financial affairs, specifically clients who fall under deputyship and the Court of Protection.
Professional Deputies manage the property and financial affairs of adults who are deemed mentally incapable of doing this themselves and have no family or friends that could or want to assist them with this vital day-to-day task. These adults are some of the most vulnerable members of society, and safeguarding their assets is at the heart of what we do. We do this in one of three ways:
1. Appointeeship – offered to a person who just receives state benefits but lacks the mental capacity to manage their own finances. Appointees are appointed by the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) and are provided with the authority to manage the state benefits of the client.
2. Deputyship – works in the same way as appointeeship but offers the protection of the client’s assets, savings or property. Deputies are appointed by the Court of Protection (CoP). The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is entrusted with supervising the work of deputies appointed by the CoP. Deputies which are provided with sealed legal documents allowing them to act for an individual in all aspects of their financial affairs.
3. Lasting Powers of Attorney – allows an individual to appoint someone to make decisions (either about Property & Financial Affairs or Health & Welfare) on their behalf, if and when they are unable to make such decisions for themselves at a future point in time, due to loss of mental capacity.
Drafting applications to the Court of Protection for members of the public also forms a large part of our business. Such applications cover the following areas:
· Property and financial affairs
· Health and welfare
· Change of trustee
· Amended/extended powers
· Contested applications
What type of clients would be usual clients for Professional Deputies, and what sectors do you work with?
Our clients generally come from a range of care groups including elderly, learning disabilities, mental health, alcohol and substance misuse, and physical and sensory disabilities.
We work closely with law practices including will writers/estate planners, local authorities, charities, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises, care providers, primary care trusts, the NHS, advocates and the general public.
Tell me a bit more about the way you work with law practices, and the benefits for them when it comes to working with you?
We work with various law firms around the country in a number of different ways. We receive referrals to act for individuals who may have received a Personal Injury Award that needs managing due to the client’s incapacity to manage this themselves. The award may relate to areas like medical negligence, road traffic accidents, civil rights infringements etc.
Law firms that do not have a specific Court of Protection department or who do not specialise in this area of work will refer such work to us as they know we are a ‘safe pair of hands.’
It also may simply not be of a viable commercial nature for these firms to undertake such work if they do not have the resources in place. They would much prefer for us to take on say a Lay Deputyship application (where they have been instructed by a member of the public to apply to the court so that person can manage their loved one’s finances), and get the job done in a timely manner, instead of themselves (who may not have the requisite experience) taking a lot longer to finalise the matter.
Also, as we do not practice in other areas of private client law, these firms can be safe in the knowledge that we will not ‘poach’ their clients when it comes to offering associated services.
Working with PLG – what do you find personally are the benefits?
Personally for me it is all about the service, enthusiasm and first-class service which is backed up with decades of experience within the sector.
As well as looking to gain the best sale price when it comes to our client’s properties, we also look for a seamless transaction without too many hiccups which can obviously lead to further work for all. PLG regularly provide this, whilst also ticking a number of compliance boxes when it comes to managing the sale process.
For us here at Professional Deputies it is all about knowing that our client’s properties are in safe hands.
At PLG, we work with professional industry experts across the UK. We pride ourselves on our relationships with the right organisations and the individuals we team up with, who are operating to the same, extremely high standards as ourselves.
If you would like to become a member of our network and feel you would like to be introduced to other likeminded professionals, then get in touch with us on 0330 124 7434 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org By joining our network it will help you build your company’s image, reputation and workload.