Deputies are required to provide the OPG with an report each year detailing how they have managed the funds of their loved one. The OPG may ask you for evidence of your expenditure or ask you to justify certain expenses. It is therefore important to keep full and accurate records.
Attorneys are not supervised in the same way as deputies but the OPG can investigate their actions if an issue is raised. The Court of Protection can also order an attorney to give accounts and to explain their expenditure so it is wise to keep records.
In the ' Getting Started blog' I mentioned that as a new deputy or attorney you need to have a separate bank account and make sure that your money and that of the person you are acting for is not mixed up. This may seem odd and artificial when the attorney or deputy is acting for their spouse or partner and you have had joint finances for decades but it does make the job of providing accounts much simpler.
What records should you be keeping? This will be different for each situation but I would suggest that you should keep:
- Bank statements
- Passbooks for building society accounts
- Investment valuations
- Benefits award letters
- Pension payment slips
- Utility bills
- Credit card statements
- Tax returns
- Invoices for care
- Receipts and/or invoices for other significant payments
- Details of regular payments eg for personal expenditure
- Receipts for all out of pocket expenses
- Details of any gifts made (for more information on gifting please read my gifting blog)
Making payments directly will create the simplest paper trail, instead of matching up cheques or keeping endless receipts for cash payments.
The decisions that you make as an attorney or deputy must be in the best interests of the person who you are acting for. If you are making a big financial decision it might be useful to write down at the time of making the decision why you decided it was in the best interests of the person whose money it is to make that particular decision.
As a deputy or attorney you should not be out of pocket for your role but you cannot take any fee or benefit from it either. To avoid any misunderstanding it is best to keep a detailed record of any expenses that you pay to yourself for postage, stationery etc.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.