Judge: Senior Judge Lush

Citation: [2015] EWCOP 57

Summary and Comment

Husband (ARW) and wife (PAW) both had Alzheimer’s dementia. He applied with other family members to become her deputy for property and financial affairs. One of their sons objected.

The Senior Judge reiterated the court’s general preference to appoint a relative or friend as deputy rather than a stranger if it was in P’s best interests. Such a starting point accorded with Article 8 and had practical reasons:

“25.  A relative will usually be familiar with P’s affairs, and aware of their wishes and feelings. Someone with a close personal knowledge of P is also likely to be in a better position to meet the obligation of a deputy to consult with P, and to permit and encourage them to participate, or to improve their ability to participate, as fully as possible in any act or decision affecting them.”

The court went on to outline some examples of when a family member would not be appointed:

      • the proposed deputy has physically, emotionally or financially abused P;
      • there is a need to investigate dealings with P’s assets prior to the matter being brought to the court’s attention, and the proposed deputy’s conduct is the subject of that investigation;
      • there is an actual conflict of interests, rather than simply a potential conflict;
      • the proposed deputy has an unsatisfactory track record in managing his or her own financial affairs;
      • there is ongoing friction between various family members, which is likely to interfere with the proper administration of P’s affairs; and
      • there is a need to ensure that P is free from undue influence, particularly the influence exerted by the person who is seeking to be appointed as deputy.

On the facts, the husband was not appointed because of his health issues and he would probably prefer to be relieved of the worry. Instead, the sister and brother of her first cousins (who were originally proposed with ARW) would instead be appointed jointly.

CategoryDeputies - Financial and property affairs Date


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