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Are more powers to award costs against family members in Court of Protection claims on their way?

Martin Astle, Director and Solicitor in the Wills & Probate Department at Astle Paterson discusses the proposal for Judges in the Court of Protection to receive more powers to award costs against specific people where a dispute arises.

Mr Astle explained “The Court of Protection deals with matters relating to vulnerable and incapacitated people, who are no longer able to manage their own affairs.

Where no Power of Attorney has been prepared, family members must apply to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy who can manage an Estate on behalf of the incapacitated person.

It is an unfortunate fact that disputes can arise between family members when money and assets are involved, and other family members of incapacitated people can make a claim against a Deputy at the Court of Protection where, for example, they believe the Estate is not being managed properly by the Deputy.

The current rules in the Court of Protection mean that costs incurred in such disputes are usually paid by the Estate itself.”

Mr Astle continued “Under the proposed new rules, Court of Protection Judges will be given more powers to order that costs be paid by family members personally – either the person who actually brought the claim or the Deputy, rather than the costs being paid by the Estate.

The intention behind the proposal is to protect the assets and finances of vulnerable people from wasteful legal actions being brought against their Estates and from Deputies who abuse their position.”

Should you be planning for your future, then please contact Martin Astle on 01283 531366 or by way of email at lgreen@astlepaterson.co.uk.

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