Duncan Hames, Lib Dem MP has called for ‘proper safeguards’ to be put in place to protect persons lacking the capacity to manage their own property and affairs.
Mr Hames has told his colleagues in Westminster Hall that a member of his constituent (Mr A) was left nearly penniless after a professional Deputy failed to act in his best interests. Mr Hames claimed that the Solicitors appointed to administer the financial affairs of Mr A acted ineffectively and did not even do so much as ensure Mr A was receiving the benefits to which he was entitled - yet took over a third of Mr A’s personal capital in payment of their professional fees.
Mr Hames also stated that he had “exhausted every available regulatory channel’ in attempt to gain justice for Mr A and that “the regulatory reaction had been tacit indifference”.
Whilst Mr Hames feels that Mr A has been failed by a Professional Deputy there are a number of safeguards in place to protect those lacking capacity (such as Mr A) and to ensure Deputies are acting solely in the best interests of their clients. For example all Deputies must take out a security bond to cover the protected party against any losses which may arise as a result of the Deputy’s conduct. The more responsibility a Deputy has the higher a level of security he has to put in place.
Furthermore, all Deputies are supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), an Agency responsible for supporting Deputies and also for investigating and acting upon any allegations of abuse made.