Solicitors in Essex & London
The primary role of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is to:
Deputies appointed by the Court of Protection act under the continued supervision of the OPG. In most cases, this supervision takes the form of the deputy being required to send annual financial accounts to the OPG. This enables the OPG to independently assess all financial decisions and transactions carried out by the deputy during the annual reporting period concerned, and also to satisfy itself that the deputy in question has been acting in the best interests of the person who lacks mental capacity.
Occasionally, the annual financial report will give rise to questions or concerns from the Office of the Public Guardian, and the deputy is obliged to cooperate to address these.
The OPG is committed to ensuring the appropriate level of supervision. In some cases, the supervision may require to a personal visit to a deputy by a representative of the Office of the Public Guardian to ensure that the deputy fully understands their legal obligations and scope of authority under the deputyship order.
The Office of the Public Guardian has extensive powers of investigation in connection with the conduct of deputies and attorneys. Those investigations are often carried out in response to allegations of financial mismanagement or fraud against the deputy or attorney. If the OPG establishes legitimate concerns, it can apply to the Court of Protection to have the deputy or attorney appointment set aside and a replacement deputy appointed instead.
The OPG has a statutory duty under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to establish and maintain a register of registered Lasting Powers of Attorney and registered Enduring Powers of Attorney. The effect of a registration of a Power of Attorney is that it automatically gives the OPG the legal right to investigate any concerns or complaints that have been brought to their attention by a third party such as a concerned relative, a friend or social services.
If you feel you require more information relating to the role of the Office of the Public Guardian and the adherences required by a deputy, please feel free to contact any of our private client solicitors directly. We offer free initial consultations in any of our five offices across Essex and London, are able to see clients at short notice, and also offer home visits to those who are unable to personally attend our offices.