Re AS; SH v LC [2012] MHLO 113 (COP)

AS's niece objected to a panel solicitor's application to be appointed deputy with specific authority to sell a property. (1) Generally speaking the order of preference for the appointment of a deputy is: (a) P's spouse or partner; (b) any other relative who takes a personal interest in P’s affairs; (c) a close friend; (c) a professional adviser, such as the family's solicitor or accountant; (d) a local authority's Social Services Department; and finally (e) a panel deputy, as deputy of last resort. (2) The court prefers to appoint a family member or close friend because of: (a) familiarity with P’s affairs, wishes and communication methods; (b) likely greater ability to consult with P and encourage participation; (c) reasons of economy; (d) the concept of deputyship of last resort. (3) The appointment of a family member will generally be a less restrictive alternative, though the question remains as to whether this will achieve the desired objective as effectively as the appointment of a panel deputy. (4) The court would not appoint a family member in cases involving, for example: (a) financial or other abuse; (b) conflict of interests; (c) an unsatisfactory track record in managing financial affairs; and (d) ongoing friction between various family members. (5) On the facts, the niece was appointed as there was no need for a deputy of last resort. (6) The general rule as to costs (that AS pay) was followed.


Hearing: 7/12/11

Before: Senior Judge Lush


Case no 12037087

[2013] COPLR 29


Thanks to Alex Ruck Keene (39 Essex Chambers) for providing the judgment.

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