Catastrophic Brain Injury
Sadly, sometimes the need for a Deputy arises because of a catastrophic brain injury, either at birth or through a later accident. The Protected Person may have been awarded damages following successful litigation arising from the injury. The appointment of a Deputy will usually be required before the litigation concludes, so that the Deputy can immediately start to use the funds for the benefit of the Protected Person.
The financial needs of those who have suffered a brain injury may be extremely complicated and their needs may continue for years. The level of injury can vary from mild learning difficulties to complete dependency, and the sums involved can range from a few hundred thousand pounds to several million.
The Court of Protection will often prefer a professional Deputy instead of a family member for several reasons. Firstly, the value of the funds under the control of the Deputy may be significant, and there can be a perceived conflict between the interests of the Protected Person and the family. Secondly, the needs may be extremely complicated and very difficult for a non professional to navigate. Finally, one of the aims of litigation in these circumstances is to ensure that parents can reclaim their role as parents only, instead of carers, financial advisers, employers, accountants, therapists, chauffeurs, lawyers and bankers.
The Deputy is likely to play a significant role in the life of the brain-injured person and may have to deal with any or all of the following issues:
• accommodation: this may be rented or purchased. Often adaptations are required where the injuries include physical disabilities.
• employ carers, and deal with payroll, National Insurance, Employers’ insurance, and taxation
• liaise with any appointed case manager to arrange therapy, education, or employment
• manage any investment portfolio, including the appointment of fund managers
• deal with all personal tax issues
• complete the required reports, budget and accounts for the Court of Protection
• undertake any further litigation where appropriate
• apply to the Court of Protection to prepare a Will for the Protected Person
• deal with any other legal or financial issues as they arise.
How we can help
Our Deputyship team includes members of the Litigation department who are extremely experienced in dealing with brain injury cases. We currently act as Deputy for several clients with complicated needs, and have a network of case managers and other advisers we can call on where necessary. We can advise on all legal matters which may arise and in some cases, because of our experience can anticipate and therefore prevent problems arising at all.