Part of the responsibility that follows the appointment of a Deputy is the annual preparation of the form OPG102, also known as the Deputyship Report.
It is a requirement as part of the general management of the Protected Party’s affairs that a report is submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) outlining the income and expenditure from the previous year to ensure the Protected Party’s funds are being managed correctly. Furthermore, the expenditure must be reasonable and proportionate based on the level of funds held.
Fixed fees can be taken for the preparation of the report in the sum of £235.00; this is roughly equivalent to two hours spent by a Grade D fee earner. If the time recorded exceeds this figure, then it would be more appropriate to include this within the Bill of Costs for assessment. This is most appropriate when the Protected Party has a large estate, multiple bank accounts, investment portfolios and had large expenditure, as it would be justifiable and reasonable to spend longer including this information within the report. This time is subject to assessment by the SCCO along with the rest of your work throughout the management period.
However, if the Protected Party had low expenditure, minimal assets with few bank accounts and investments so as a result, it took less than the allowed time to prepare the OPG102, then it would be advised to take the fixed fees as the fee earner has been efficient when undertaking their work for the Protected Party and therefore is entitled to receive £235.00 (fixed fee). This is outlined within the Practice Direction B 9(5).
In ‘hardship’ cases, where the Protected Party’s assets are below £16,000.00 and the Deputy is limited to fees equivalent to 4.5% of the value of the estate, it has been advised that the preparation of the Deputyship Report must be included within the 4.5%, and fixed fees cannot be taken in addition.
If you do take fixed costs for preparing the Deputyship Report, this must be declared in the following report in the next management year.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Georgia Clarke or the team at COPCosts@clarionsolicitors.com