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The Office of the Public Guardian Continues to Implement Changes to Improve Professional Deputy Supervision and Support

on Thursday, 05 November 2015.

Following on from our last publication in August 2015 in respect of the new standards for professional deputies, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has reported on further changes to improve deputy supervision and support.

Changes to Classifications

Since September 2015, the OPG no longer refers to supervision in levels 1, 2A, 2 and 3.  Deputyships are simply classified as 'general' or 'minimal' supervision.

New deputyships are allocated to a general level of supervision in the first year.  For existing deputyships, minimal supervision applies to those deputies who manage the affairs of someone with assets below £21,000, unless there are concerns about the matter.

Reporting Requirements

The OPG will also be introducing changes to the annual report (form OPG 102) by producing three different reporting forms; a full report, a standard report and a health and welfare report.  The full report will be similar to the current OPG 102 form and will gather information about the client's living arrangements, investment decisions and asset management, unlike the standard report, which will be a shortened version asking fewer questions.  The health and welfare report will be new for health and welfare deputies.

New deputies will be required to submit an annual report on each anniversary of their deputyship order.  Existing deputies will also need to produce a report every year, even for smaller cases where they may not have previously reported.  This will be made easier by the introduction of a new online service which will allow deputies to update their details and complete annual reports electronically.

The OPG will also be introducing a costs estimate requirement whereby an estimate of professional fees will need to be submitted within the first 4 months of a new deputyship.  The estimate will need to be inserted  into the annual report  for existing deputyships.

It is important for every professional deputy to review the changes and understand how they could affect their duties and obligations in relation to existing and future deputyships.

Michelle Rose, Partner and Head of the Private Client Team, acts as a professional deputy and provides her litigation and Court of Protection experience to deputy appointments which are not entirely straightforward.

For more information, please contact Michelle Rose on 0117 314 5246.

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