Deputies: make decisions for someone who lacks capacity

9. Accounts, gifts and expenses

You must keep accounts and follow the rules for gifts and expenses if you’re acting as deputy for someone else. You must also record the transactions in your annual report.

Accounts

As a property and affairs deputy, you must keep copies of:

  • bank statements
  • contracts for services or tradespeople
  • receipts
  • letters and emails about your activities as a deputy

Gifts

Your court order will say if you can buy gifts or give gifts of money on behalf of the other person, including donations to charities. It will also say if there’s an annual limit on how much money you can use for gifts.

Gifts must be reasonable. You need to make sure any gifts don’t reduce the level of care the person you’re deputy for can afford.

You must apply to the Court of Protection if you want to make a one-off large gift for Inheritance Tax purposes, for example.

Expenses

You can claim expenses for things you must do to carry out your role as deputy, for example phone calls, postage and travel costs. You can’t claim:

  • travel costs for social visits
  • for the time spent carrying out your duties (unless you’re a professional deputy, for example a solicitor)

You may be asked to give a detailed report of what you spent. You’ll have to pay the money back if the Office of the Public Guardian finds your expenses are unreasonable. They may ask the court to stop you being a deputy if they think you’ve been dishonest.