One of the most dreaded, yet important duties of deputies is to report annually to the Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”). For property and affair deputies this means completing the Form OPG 102
It is the personal duty of the deputy to complete this form, although often a deputy will employ an accountant or solicitor to assist. The forms are extremely complex and change regularly. The forms have been updated eight times since they first came into effect in 2013. Hence you should ensure that you are using the latest form.
The OPG 102 Form itself is 34 pages long. Not only do you have to list every single asset, but you also must detail income & expenditure and undertake bank account reconciliations. That can be a daunting task unless a professional is engaged.
The fixed fee allowed by the Court of Protection for such assistance is the same as that for a tax return on behalf of the protected party. That is £235 plus VAT. Whilst that may sufficient in a straightforward case, higher costs may need to be assessed by the court.
The form lists all benefits received. Deputies have an obligation to make sure that the protected parties are obtaining their full benefits and entitlements. That includes local authority funding for care and possibly NHS funding. Again, professional advice on the same is often very beneficial.
The forms now also includes reference to assets held in trust, assets held outside the United Kingdom, vehicles and all other forms of investments.
The form also deals with issues like safeguarding, care arrangements and recent decisions.
If the form is not returned in time that will be flagged up by the OPG. One of the most common reasons for deputies being struck off is failure to fill in these forms. As such, the deadline for complying with these forms should be taken seriously, although in many circumstances an extension can be granted.