Revision of standards for Deputies by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)

At Chase de Vere, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional independent financial advice to clients who have suffered personal injury or are subject to the Court of Protection. With the recent revision of standards for Deputies by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), published on 13 February 2023, we’ve taken some time to unpack the implications for both our professional and lay Deputy clientele.

These standards, in place since 2015, have long been an invaluable guide, helping professional Deputies to discharge their functions effectively, to the expected standards. In contrast, Lay Deputies have had limited guidance; it is a positive move that they are now also apprised of their duties. In terms of financial management, a key point in the original standards was that a Deputy should call on the services of an independent financial adviser to maximise the return on the protected beneficiary’s savings, investments and other assets, wherever appropriate.

The recently revised Deputy standards make a noticeable shift. Now, they point towards seeking professional or expert advice where the protected party’s investments are complex.

The IFAs in the Chase de Vere Personal Injury & Court of Protection team carry strength of conviction that independent financial advice will optimise a protected beneficiary’s finances. Among the Deputies we work with, independent financial advice remains the gold standard. It’s worth reiterating why.

Let’s take a moment to understand the difference between an independent and restricted financial adviser. Independent advisers can recommend products and services from the entire market, thereby being in a position to offer the best financial solutions and tax wrappers that cater to an individual’s specific circumstances. This is because they’re not tied to any particular product providers, enabling a comprehensive and unbiased overview of what’s available.

In contrast, restricted advisers can only offer advice on a limited range of products or product providers. This limitation might hinder the potential to achieve the best outcomes for a protected beneficiary and their Deputy. Simply put, a restricted adviser doesn’t have the breadth of choice an independent adviser offers. Their advice, while potentially sound, is, by definition, restricted.

The Chase de Vere Personal Injury & Court of Protection team continues to champion the independence of financial advice in the best interest of the protected beneficiaries we assist. As the landscape changes, our commitment to their financial wellbeing remains unwavering. We demonstrate this by offering a range of additional services, such as welfare benefits advice, helping Deputies to make sure they have applied for any eligible benefits for protected beneficiaries within three months of receiving the Deputyship order and reviewing them once a year.

The depth of knowledge and experience demonstrated by Chase de Vere’s specialist advisers in supporting Litigators, Deputies, and Trustees is exceptional, and incorporates the following services:

  • Investment portfolio advice, documenting and advising on necessary risk
  • Reducing tax through utilisation of appropriate tax wrappers and allowances
  • Maximising state benefits
  • Budgeting and sustainability advice
  • Periodical payment calculations
  • Expert witness services
  • Personal Injury Trusts
  • Assistance with tax returns, Court of Protection returns and trust accounts

As one of the UK’s largest independent financial advice firms, Chase de Vere has secured many cost-effective solutions with well-respected investment providers. Legal professionals can be assured of meeting all of their obligations by instructing Chase de Vere’s Personal Injury & Court of Protection team.

We believe that now more than ever, our clients and their legal advisers need access to independent financial advice they can trust. With the constantly changing economic and political landscape, it is essential to have a financial expert on your side who can help you navigate the complexities of the financial world.

We look forward to continuing to provide the highest level of service to our clients and partners. If you have any questions or would like to speak to us about how we can help you or your clients, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

The value of your investments can go down as well as up, so you could get back less than you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

The Financial Conduct Authority do not regulate tax planning or trusts.

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