If you have been appointed as a professional deputy and were concerned about how you can comply with your duties during the coronavirus lockdown then the newly issued guidance by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) may provide some welcomed relief.

Professional Deputies are usually appointed by the Court of Protection where an individual has lost capacity to make decisions and where they have failed to make a Lasting Power of Attorney nominating another to act on their behalf. A Professional Deputy is legally responsible for the individual concerned and this responsibility continues despite the country being in lockdown.

The OPG has updated its guidance for Professional Deputies. It highlights that Professional Deputies can be classed as key workers “but only when they are actively doing something to help the person they’re deputy for. For example, when attending a hearing or making a decision on the person’s behalf.”

The guidance can be accessed via the government website here.

Professional Deputies should ensure they have considered the needs of those they make decisions for and how best to act for them in the current pandemic. If it is necessary for them to visit the protected party, government guidance should be followed where possible. Professional Deputies should also ensure they maintain their records of all decisions made for the protected party during this current period as they would at any other time.

If you are a Professional Deputy and have concerns about whether or not you have or are complying with your legal responsibilities during the lockdown then we can help you navigate your way through this difficult time.