If a person lacks capacity to make their own decisions about financial or welfare matters the court may appoint a deputy to do this for them. Unfortunately, sometimes deputies may act beyond their remit or even dishonestly.
There are only a tiny number of complaints made about deputies each year. Many of these come from concerned relatives, whilst the rest are from local authorities, solicitors, other deputies and other professionals, such as banks, doctors, carers or the police.
If you think a deputy is behaving improperly, you should act as soon as possible. You can complain to the Office of the Public Guardian or, if you are an interested party, make an application directly to the court to remove a deputy from their duty. In some cases you may also need to report your concerns to the police.
In most cases, complaints about deputies are found to result not from dishonesty, but from lay deputies (ie family or friends) being unable to cope with the onerous requirements of the role. The court may cancel their deputyship or could provide them with additional scrutiny or assistance.
Our expert team of solicitors can advise you if you are concerned about the actions of a deputy, and, where necessary help you apply to the court to remove them and freeze funds.