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Judge agrees to reinstate father as financial deputy

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The Court of Protection this month agreed to reinstate the father of a young woman with learning disabilities as her financial deputy.

In the case of Re AJ, the court had heard that the 21-year-old had been diagnosed with “developmental delay”, a mental disorder and a congenital heart condition.

Following her parents’ divorce and her mother’s subsequent death from breast cancer, the woman’s father and a family friend had been appointed deputies.

However, concerns had been raised by an unnamed party regarding the father’s financial dealings and the two men were discharged from their duties in April this year, to be replaced with a professional deputy. The following month, the father had applied for the decision to be reconsidered.

Senior Judge Lush, sitting at the Court of Protection, was asked to look again at the facts of the case and ultimately decided that the father should be reinstated as his daughter’s deputy.

The Judge concluded that the decision to have removed the father from the role had partly been a response to a mistaken belief that he had failed to provide relevant financial documentation. In actual fact he had done so and the paperwork had been misfiled. The Judge was also satisfied by the explanation that the father had given regarding funds that had allegedly gone missing.

He added that the decision earlier this year had been “disproportionate”, since the young woman in fact had very little money.

The Judge concluded: “Having been the subject of an extensive investigation by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), [the father] should by now be fully aware of the obligations and duties of a deputy and the standards that are expected of him.”

At Lester Morrill, our specialist Court of Protection solicitors are experienced in working with vulnerable individuals and their families, friends and care teams to ensure the best possible outcome. We currently manage cases involving private clients, solicitors, local authorities, referrals from the court and case managers. Please contact our team for further information.