In April a raft of changes were made to various Civil Procedure Rules including to Civil Procedure Rule 21, which sets out the provisions that need to be applied in civil court proceedings involving children and protected parties.
The changes are largely to start the process of consolidating and tidying up Rule 21 to make it more functional for use. But, there has also been a more significant and specific change around what happens when someone who lacks capacity to manage their money, benefits from a court award of damages because of an incident - like a medical mistake or road traffic accident, where someone else was at fault.
Those funds need to be managed on their behalf either by the Court Funds Office or by the appointment of a Court of Protection appointed Property & Affairs Deputy. Until recently, any award under £50,000 would be managed by the Court Funds Office. Anything over that would require an application for a Deputy. Since the change to Rule 21, that ceiling is now £100,000.
Fewer awards should now come within the ambit of the Court of Protection and if that’s the case, more people will benefit from cheaper and lighter touch management and oversight of those funds by the Court Funds Office. Given the current delays in obtaining Deputyship Orders and the associated costs to the individual in setting up and managing the Deputyship, this seems to carry significant benefits.
If you or someone you know has been assessed as lacking capacity to manage their finances and benefits from an award over £100,000, our dedicated Property & Affairs Court of Protection team can work with you in the run up to the award being paid and support an application. If you would like to discuss this with a member of our team, please contact Katie Webber.
The firm also provides advice and assistance around applications for Health & Welfare Deputyship Orders, which might be something to consider in addition to a financial Deputyship Order, depending on the nature and extent of the individual’s needs.
For any issues relating to Health & Welfare matters and capacity, please contact Katie Webber.