Court of Protection plans to shift more costs onto deputies

Topics: Costs, fees and funding,Courts business,Wills & Probate

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (2)
  • Save

Related images

  • Karonwalton

The Court of Protection is considering giving judges more power to make family members cover the legal costs in disputes over an incapacitated person’s property, affairs or care.

Under current rules the costs for these disputes are normally paid out of the incapacitated person’s estate, although in some circumstances judges can depart from this rule

Advertisement

But under the changes now being considered, judges would be given greater scope to direct family members to pay these costs.

Karon Walton (pictured), director at Solicitors for the Elderly, an association of lawyers providing advice to older people, said a public consultation paper is being drafted by the Court of Protection Rules Committee. But the exact timing of the consultation is not yet known.

She said: ‘[The reform] could mean that incapacitated individuals may not have to bear the costs of disputes over their property and affairs and instead, costs could be directed towards applicants or parties involved in the dispute.’

Emily Deane, technical counsel at The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), said she supported the idea of giving courts more discretion over costs in extreme cases where a vulnerable person and their estate are being abused by their deputies.

She told the Gazette: ‘In these cases, the court should have the capability to order the parties to pay their own costs and subsequently, appoint a third-party deputy to act in their place.

‘This capability would give vulnerable people more protection whilst bringing wasteful legal actions, at the expense of the innocent party, to a halt.’

Readers' comments (2)

  • Yes, and fine if the rep is truly off piste. But what, and how will the rep assess (as against the big battalions at least) know that she/he is off piste? When the Supreme Court says so?

    Judges will well recognise the position. But rules are now promolgated against this. A ten point check list?

    This is emotional stuff.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I have known incapacitous people's estates frittered away over Jarndyce v Jarndyce style family disputes, leaving their local Council to pick up the financial pieces. So, yes, within limits, why should you be able to gamble more freely with a helpless person's estate? If it's "a matter of principle" you, not they, should pay.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (2)
  • Save

Ben gummer

‘Deadline slips’ for clinical negligence fixed fees

31 May 2016By

Personal injury lawyers welcome apparent acknowledgement that 1 October start date is not achievable. 

Highcourtzebra

High Court dismisses solicitor’s SDT challenge

31 May 2016By

Robert Stuart Franklin Scott, who was struck off, contested tribunal’s finding that he acted without integrity.

Lord Dyson

Man allowed to challenge former mother-in-law’s will

27 May 2016By

Colin Randall was allowed to challenge the validity of the will despite being left nothing in the estate. 

Advertisement

Sign up for email news alerts

Daily Update. Keep abreast of the latest developments that affect the profession

Legal Services

Browse the magazine

Current Issue

The Gazette offers you up-to-the-minute national and international news, opinion, features, in-depth articles plus a jobs and appointments section.

Please click the link below for a digital edition