Judge: Senior Judge Lush
Citation:  EWCOP 29
In this case the Senior Judge was faced with the Public Guardian’s application for the revocation of a deputyship order in favour of P’s son.
The Public Guardian brought the application because of the deputy’s failures properly to account for expenditure on the renovation of P’s house and payments he had made to himself and (to a lesser extent) his sister for caring for P.
P suffered from vascular dementia and had moved from Bristol to London to live with the deputy. The deputy gave up his work as a quantity surveyor to look after P. He explained that the work to P’s home in Bristol had been necessary and the decision not to sell the property had been made after consulting other family members and because the property was P’s pride and joy. It had originally been the intention that P should return to Bristol but that was no longer possible.
The Senior Judge was obviously impressed with the deputy who was supported by his siblings. He gave retrospective approval for the expenditure on the house and the payments to the deputy and his sister. He did not revoke the deputyship order though he did set out clear accounting requirements.
Of general interest was the Senior Judge’s treatment of the payments for care. He approached these in the same way as would be done by a court hearing a personal injury claim allowing a commercial rate discounted by 20% because the payment is not taxable in the recipient’s hands (though commonly in personal injury claims the deduction is 25%).
He also provided for annual increases in line with Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 6145 – carers and home carers.
The amount approved was £1,500 per month for the deputy and £100 per month for his sister. Expenditure, as the Senior Judge noted, significantly less than any alternative care package that might be available.
It is a pleasant change to see a case before the Court of Protection in which the court was able to bless rather than condemn the actions of a deputy. The approach to payments for care is of wider application than to the facts of the individual case and can be read with other cases in which Senior Judge Lush has sought to give specific guidance to deputies and attorneys as to the discharge of their duties as regards the management and use of P’s assets (see, in this regard, in particular, Re Buckley, Re Treadwell and Re GM).