Duties of a deputy and who to tell

If you are thinking of becoming a deputy for a person with dementia, it is important to consider the continuing responsibilities involved. Outlined are the many tasks and responsibilities that you will be taking on.

What duties does a deputy have?

If you are thinking of becoming a deputy for a person with dementia, it is important to consider the continuing responsibilities involved. There are many tasks and responsibilities that you will be taking on, and these are outlined below.

Support, guidance and information are available for deputies from the Office of the Public Guardian.

When acting as a deputy and making decisions on behalf of another person, you will have specific responsibilities. These include a duty to:

  • act with due care and skill (duty of care)

  • not take advantage of the situation of the person with dementia (fiduciary duty)
  • protect the person against liability to third parties caused by the deputy's negligence
  • not delegate your duties unless authorised to do so
  • act in good faith
  • respect the person's confidentiality
  • comply with the directions of the Court of Protection.

If you are a deputy for property and affairs, you also have a duty to:

  • keep accounts
  • keep the person's money and property separate from your own, for example by using separate bank accounts.

Security bonds

Often the deputy's first duty is to arrange a security bond with an insurer. The court requires that all deputies for property and financial affairs do this. This security bond is a type of insurance policy designed to financially protect the person with dementia in the unlikely event that the deputy were to mismanage their finances. The security bond is determined by the amount of funds that the deputy will have control of, including any non-cash assets such as property.

Guidance on arranging a security bond is usually sent out once the court has made the order, and they will require you to set up the bond before it sends the order to you. You may pay the bond from money you hold for the person, or pay from your own money and be reimbursed when you have access to the bank account. It is important to note that you will have to pay a yearly fee or premium for the bond, which can be paid from the money of the person with dementia.This obligation will continue for as long as a deputy is in place.

Deputy annual report

As a deputy you will have to provide an annual deputyship report to the court. This gives the court information about the decisions that you have made on behalf of the person with dementia. It should also provide summary accounts for the court to approve. You must detail the financial transactions of the previous year and provide further information concerning the person's affairs. You must also provide evidence, such as bank statements.

The OPG will offer you guidance on how to do this and copies of the forms that you will need to complete. If you have any queries, contact them for support.

Who should you tell?

As a deputy, you must instruct various outside organisations that you are now acting on the person's behalf. You will need to show an original sealed copy of the Court order. Examples of organisations that you must inform include:

  • the Department for Work and Pensions for pension and/or benefit entitlement
  • the local authority for housing benefit or assistance with fees
  • banks or building societies
  • accountant
  • payer of any private pension(s)
  • solicitor who holds the person's will and/or property deeds
  • residential or nursing home where the person resides.

It is also a good idea to inform other people involved in the person's care, such as carers, and also their relatives and friends.

National Dementia Helpline
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