As a deputy, you have no statutory duty to make gifts, although the Order appointing you as a deputy will usually specify that you have the same authority to make gifts as if you were an Attorney acting under a registered Lasting Power of Attorney, that is:
- Gifts must be reasonable with regard to all the circumstances and the size of your loved one’s estate
- Gifts can be made: o to any charity that your loved one made, or might be expected to make, gifts to; or o on customary occasions to persons that are related or connected to your loved one (e.g. Christmas and birthday presents, gifts of anniversaries etc.).
It is not generally allowed for a deputy to make gifts for inheritance tax planning purposes without approval from the Court of Protection. This is the position even if the deputy is trying to make lifetime gifts that reflect the beneficial provisions in a will.
However, case law has established a sensible de minimis exemption for gifts made by deputies. The exemption covers the use of the annual exemption of £3,000 a year and the use of the small gifts exemption of £250, up to a certain number of people, depending on the circumstances.
If you need more information or assistance about making gifts, please contact us.
Reports and Record Keeping
As a deputy, you must submit an annual report to the Office of the Public Guardian and you will be reminded about this nearer the time, if it applies to you. The forms will be sent to you automatically a few weeks before the end of the accounting period and if you need any help with these, please do not hesitate to contact us.
When your appointment as a deputy comes to an end, for example, because you no longer wish to act, or the person you are making decisions for has died, the Office of the Public Guardian may require a final report to be submitted, but again you’ll be asked about this at the time, if it applies to you.
You must keep a record of accounts, dealings and transactions made on your loved one’s behalf. Some of the detail from these accounts is used to complete the annual report, if required.
The Office of the Public Guardian may also request that you submit accounts from time to time, a part of their overall supervision of deputies.
The Court of Protection is allowed to carry out visits to deputies. These visits are often routine and simply to check that everything is going Ok. More rarely, visits may be triggered by a complaint or concern that has been raised with the Office of the Public Guardian.