Use this section to answer your most frequently asked questions. If you still need some help, or have some follow up questions please use the contact us section of the website to get in touch.
What is an Appointee?
An Appointee is a person who has been appointed by the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) or a local authority to receive welfare benefits on behalf of someone who is unable to manage their affairs, generally because of mental incapacity.
What is a Corporate Appointee?
A Corporate Appointee is an organisation such as The Friendly Trust or a local authority for example, that is authorised by the Department of Work and Pensions to act as the body for managing a persons welfare benefit responsibilities.
Corporate Appointeeship’s are usually appropriate when no identifiable (or suitable) relatives or close friends can be approached.
Is there an application form to become an appointee?
To become an appointee Form BF56 must be completed and submitted to the relevant DWP department. In some cases a DWP visiting officer may meet with the person to whom the application relates and the person wishing to apply to make sure an Appointee is necessary.
What does an Appointee do?
An appointee will meet with the client and any others involved to discuss their individual circumstances. At this point they will try to create a plan to make sure that all the person’s benefits are being claimed and all their living expenses are covered. This arrangement will then be managed by the appointee who will be responsible for making and overseeing a benefit claims, receiving benefit payments, receiving and paying a persons bills, and managing funds on behalf of the client. The appointee is also responsible for repaying any overpayment in benefits. The appointee is responsible for maintaining adequate financial records on behalf of a person.
What other responsibilities does an Appointee have?
An Appointee must:
sign the benefit claim forms
tell the benefit office about any changes which affect how much the claimant gets
spend the benefit (which is paid directly to you) in the claimant’s best interests
tell the benefit office if they stop being the appointee eg, the claimant can now manage their own affairs
Why would someone need an appointee?
If a person is incapable of managing their own finances due to a physical or mental health incapacity and cannot cope with claiming benefits, paying bills or managing money they may need an appointee to provide help. An appointee may be required on a temporary or permanent basis.
Can an appointee be nominated on a temporary basis?
The appointee can be nominated for a temporary period, for example following an accident or a short-term illness. In fact many appointeeships are temporary in so much as the service user may simply need assistance for an interim period.
Can I resign from being an appointee?
An appointee may resign if they are no longer able to carry out the role by giving one month’s written notice. The DWP also has the power to revoke the appointeeship. If there is evidence of an appointee not acting in the best interests of the claimant the DWP must be informed and they will investigate such claims.
Can the Friendly Trust take over an Appointeeship from another individual or organisation?
Yes. The Friendly Trust has vast experience in transferring Appointeeship’s. Please get in touch to discuss your individual circumstances, if you would like more detailed information.
Does the Friendly Trust charge to be Appointee?
The Friendly Trust receives funding from various sources. Depending on an individual’s circumstances, they may be eligible to receive a free service. In other cases a third party or organisation may fund the service, but in some cases the individual would pay.
Property & Affairs Deputyship
What is a Deputy?
A deputy is someone appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions for someone who is unable to do so on their own.
Who might need a Deputy?
When a person is assessed under the Mental Capacity Act as being incapable of managing their financial affairs and is therefore unable to instruct another person to act on their behalf, an application can be made to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy.
Who can be a Deputy?
A deputy is usually a close friend or relative of the person who needs help making decisions.
A deputy can also be a professional, such as an accountant, a solicitor or an organisation like the Friendly Trust. Local authorities are often appointed as a deputy.
Deputies must be over 18.
The Court of Protection can appoint a ‘panel deputy’ to look after someone’s financial affairs if no one else can do this.
A panel deputy is someone with specialist knowledge of mental capacity law.
When is a Deputy appointed?
The Court of Protection has to appoint a Deputy following a comprehensive application process, if they decide it is appropriate and in the persons best interests.
Does it cost to make an application to the Court of Protection?
Yes – There is an Application fee of £400 which is payable on making an application to start court proceedings or on making an application for permission to start proceedings.
There are various other fees that may be incurred depending on the application process.
In certain circumstances fees may not be payable, but in each case a fee remission form must be completed.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that lets an individual (the ‘donor’) appoint people (known as ‘attorneys’) to make decisions on their behalf. It could be used if the individual became unable to make his or her own decisions.
There are 2 types of lasting power of attorney:
Health and welfare
Property and financial affairs
You can choose to make one type or both, but the following questions only apply to Property and affairs LPA’s as that is The Friendly Trust’s area of expertise.
Who can make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity – the ability to make your own decisions – when you make your lasting power of attorney.
What does a Property & Financial Affairs Attorney do for you?
They make decisions about money and property for you, eg:
selling your home
This type of lasting power of attorney can be used as soon as it’s registered, with your permission.
How do I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
First you need to decide who you want to appoint.
This is the most important part of the process as you need to choose someone you trust to carry out your wishes when you are unable to do so any longer. You can appoint more than one person.