Deputyships and The Supervision of the OPGPublished on: 15 February 2022
The role of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is to protect anyone who lacks the mental capacity to make financial decisions for themselves. The OPG supervises deputies, attorneys and guardians. Deputies are appointed by the Court of Protection and a requirement of their role is to complete an annual report for the OPG. The OPG has a responsibility to check that the deputy is doing everything that they should be doing. This involves making sure they keep to the terms of the deputyship order, and that the decisions they make on behalf of the protected person (P) follow the Mental Capacity Act and are in P’s best interests.
An annual fee of £320 is set for general supervision and £35 for minimal supervision. Cases are subject to minimal supervision where the capital to be managed is below £21,000, with every other case being subject to general supervision.
The deputy’s full report (OPG102), for those who are subject to general supervision comprises into eight sections, which sets out the following:
1. Deputy and P’s information, including the reporting period;
2. Significant decisions made over the reporting period, including the level of involvement with P. This demonstrates that the deputy has complied with their obligations to act in P’s best interests;
3. People who have been consulted, their relationship with P and the reason they were consulted;
4. Details of P’s care arrangements and what contact they have with the deputy and other people. This is to check whether P’s needs are being met. The report also requires details of income paid to a third party, such as a DWP Appointee, and includes confirmation that a check has been made of P’s benefit entitlement;
5. Details of P’s main bank accounts, with details of money paid in and out, including major purchases, cash withdrawn, deputyship costs and expenses, and gifts made. The report requires a reconciliation of the account from the start to the end of the accounting period;
6. P’s savings and investments are set out, including land which is solely or jointly owned, property held outside of England and Wales, cash in hand, valuable objects and assets held in trust. The deputy must also confirm if independent financial advice has been obtained and what debts P has;
7. The deputy must set out what significant decisions they expect to make during the next reporting period and whether they have any concerns about the role; and
8. The deputy then signs a compliance declaration.
The report for minimal supervision (OPG103) comprises into 11 sections.
- Sections 1 - 5 are almost identical to the OPG102;
- Section 6 sets out the balance in each bank account;
- Section 7 requires only lists of payments made over £1,000, gifts and deputyship costs and expenses;
- Section 8 contains details of land and whether it is jointly owned, and lists investments and savings;
- Section 9 requires debts to be listed;
- In section 10, the deputy must set out what significant decisions they expect to make during the next reporting period; and
- Section 11 contains the same deputyship declaration as the OPG102.
We understand that dealing with these reports can be daunting and sometimes difficult, if you would like any further information or advice in relation to the OPG, assistance with completion of the OPG Report, or appointing a lay/professional deputy then please feel free to contact a member of the specialist Court of Protection team at Lanyon Bowdler.