A smiling carer chats with an elderly lady

Making decisions

An obvious point to make, but one that can be very frustrating for families, is that it is the job of the attorney or professional deputy to make decisions on behalf of the person they are representing.

Some of those decisions can involve considerable sums of money – putting in place care teams, renovating properties, agreeing to holidays and buying expensive equipment to name a few.

It is hard to underestimate how intrusive it is for a family to have someone come in and run the finances of one of their family members. More often than not the family will know best what their relative would have wanted. They will be acutely aware of the trade offs, the demands on any available monies and the impact on future spending.

Many decisions taken by the deputy or attorney will have an impact on the wider family. The family will find it difficult if prompt decisions are not made, opportunities are missed or if they are not property consulted.

So the choice of attorney or deputy is very important. They should be someone who will make good decisions but in a consultative and sensitive way.

When choosing a family member or friend, look for someone who knows you well, who is decisive and has a good relationship with the rest of the family. You can appoint two people to act jointly.

If you need to appoint a professional deputy, look for someone who understands these issues.

I always recommend that you appoint a deputy who will act personally, rather than a faceless trust corporation. You should know exactly who will be taking these important decisions for you. Don’t be afraid to speak to your proposed deputy and ask them questions.

The Court of Protection approved list of deputies is a good place to start, and you can find the list here.