An appointee will look after your finances should you become unable to manage them yourself and have no family or friends that can help or support you.
It may be possible for the council to become your appointee - they will be registered with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This is called a Corporate Appointeeship.
The Corporate Appointee will administer your finances on your behalf if you:
- Lack capacity to manage your own finances and/or are physically disabled
- Your income consists of benefits and you have no other major assets or income
- There is no other close family member or friend willing to take on this role.
The council will open a bank account in your name and manage your finances. They will make sure you get the benefits you are entitled to, pay your bills and have enough money for your personal items. There is a charge of £15 per week for this service.
The role of a Corporate Appointee
- Complete all DWP forms as and when required
- Ensure you have sufficient money to enable you to access services of your choice in the community
- Monitor saving levels to ensure correct benefits are being paid to you
- Monitor expenditure in relation to the Appointeeship bank account
- Maximise your benefits
- Complete regular audits to ensure your money is spent appropriately
- To make purchases for you when necessary, making sure financial procedures are adhered to (including proof of best value)
- To ensure the payment of all utility bills and any other relevant bills including the social care bill.
How do I apply?
If you want the council to become your appointee then speak to your Social Care Officer or Social Worker and they will help you.
If you don't have a Social Care Officer or Social Worker please contact the Initial Assessment Team on 01942 828777 (minicom 01942 828791) for Adult Services.
You can apply to the Court of Protection to become someone’s Deputy for property and financial affairs if they ‘lack mental capacity’. Someone may lack mental capacity if they:
- Have had a serious brain injury or illness
- Suffer from dementia
- Have severe learning disabilities.
Close relatives or friends will always be consulted and encouraged where possible to apply to be Deputy. However, the local authority will step in if no one else does and if the client who lacks capacity has:
- Over £23,250 in capital and/or assets including property or;
- Other compelling reasons e.g. rising debt, concerns of financial abuse etc.
The Deputyship is a chargeable service. If the client has less than £23,250 and their income mainly comes from benefits, then we will look at applying to be their DWP benefits appointee instead as this is less costly and intrusive for the person.
What’s the Deputyship process for a local authority?
- Undertake a Mental Capacity Assessment
- Once the Deputyship is granted by the Court, an order is issued to the local authority allowing them to deal with the finances and property of the client which includes transferring all funds held in the clients name to the local authority, drawing of DWP benefits, Occupational Pensions etc.
- A Deputyship Bank account will be set up by the local authority in the client’s name - All transactions made are subject to strict financial controls
- The Deputy will arrange for an Independent Visitor to see the client annually to ensure their needs are being met, review care plans, ensure personal funds are being provided by the local authority to the Care Home and that these funds are spent appropriately
- The Deputy is required to report to the Office of the Public Guardian annually and inform them of any significant financial decisions made during the year.
The role of a Deputy
- Where a client has a property, the Deputy will carry out a mental capacity assessment and Best Interest Decision to determine what should happen to it, as well as consult any close family, friends and carers
- Where the client requires items of equipment, furniture etc. the Deputy will get an assessment done by an occupational therapist to ensure the item(s) required meets their needs and the best price is obtained
- The Deputy will ensure the client has personal funds available in order to pay for items such as newspapers, hairdressing, nails etc.
What happens when the client passes away?
The Deputyship comes to an end when the client passes away. The only remaining transaction is the payment of the funeral director’s invoice which must be paid direct to the undertakers.
All other actions and payment of debts etc. become the responsibility of the Executor to the Will.
Where no will is identified and no next of kin is known, the local authority will request an estate research company to undertake a search to establish if a next of kin can be identified. As a last resort the estate would be referred to the Duchy of Lancaster.