Deputyship – Making property and financial decisions on your behalf

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Deputies make decisions for people who 'lack mental capacity'. This means they cannot make those decisions for themselves. People may lack mental capacity because, for example:

  • they've had a serious brain injury or illness
  • they have dementia
  • they have severe learning disabilities

The most appropriate deputy will depend on the person's circumstances.

See Mental Capacity Act: making decisions (GOV.UK).

There are 2 types of deputy:

  • financial and property affairs deputies
  • personal welfare deputies

This page looks at financial and property affairs deputies. For information on personal welfare deputies see Apply to be a personal welfare deputy (GOV.UK).

Informal representation

Some banks or other businesses will let you act for a person who lacks mental capacity. If able, the person should give their consent.

These informal arrangements can be set up by:

  • friends
  • family
  • other suitable people or groups

You should talk to each relevant business to find out if you can set up an informal arrangement.

Formal representation

This is where someone applies to look after someone's financial affairs. Before starting the process, you should check to see if the person already has a registered:

Search at Find out if someone has a registered attorney or deputy (GOV.UK).

If the person does not have any existing arrangements, you can apply to become a deputy.

Deputies must be over 18 and can be:

  • a family member
  • a friend
  • other suitable people or groups

Where the person doesn't have a support network, a local authority can apply for deputyship.

Becoming a deputy means that you can look after a person's money. This includes the authority to:

  • manage a private bank account
  • manage a private pension or income
  • manage accounts on their behalf for example a utility provider or creditor
  • sell or manage a property

Applying to become a deputy

To apply to become a deputy see Apply to be a property and financial affairs deputy (GOV.UK).

See also:

All appointed deputies are overseen by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). This is on behalf of the Court of Protection.

See OPG deputy standards.

For any further advice around managing someone else's financial affairs see:

Making a referral to Surrey County Council

Our Client Financial Affairs Team (CFAT) can manage the financial affairs of residents who:

  • have been assessed as lacking the mental capacity to:
    • make financial or property affairs decisions
    • appoint a LPA
    • agree to a person managing their finances under any other arrangement
  • live in Surrey or get support from Surrey's Adult Social Care team
  • have no existing arrangement in place
  • have no suitable or appropriate person who can act on their behalf

CFAT may not be able to make applications to the Court of Protection or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if there is an existing arrangement. If the nominated person is not acting in the individual's best interest, you should speak to the Court of Protection, OPG or DWP in the first instance.

CFAT can accept referrals from:

  • Surrey County Council Adult Social Care Teams
  • Surrey health colleagues (in certain cases)
  • The OPG, Court of Protection or DWP

CFAT cannot offer legal advice or take referrals from members of the public. Should you have any questions about an existing case that CFAT already oversee, you should speak to the social care team or funding authority first with your query.

Surrey County Council staff can search for the Client Financial Affairs Team or Deputyship on the internal network for more information.

About CFAT

CFAT only manage the personal financial affairs of the residents Surrey County Council act for. CFAT have no authority or oversight of their care and support funding arrangements.

CFAT act on behalf of people in line with the principles set out in:

See Mental Capacity Act: making decisions (GOV.UK).

We may charge an annual fee to act as a person's deputy. This depends on their financial circumstances.

See Practice Direction 19B Fixed costs in the court of protection.

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