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Advice needed on becoming a Deputy for my brother to manage his savings - Carers UK Forum

Advice needed on becoming a Deputy for my brother to manage his savings

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My brother suffers from a type of Schizophrenia and is a resident in a supported house, where there is staff to help him and other residents. Unlike other residents he requires a lot of help and needs prompting for almost everything from getting out of bed, having a shower, when to eat, taking medication, etc. Without prompting, he would just stay in his bed all day and only move to go to the toilet (I suspect he has some form of undiagnosed special needs). His default answer to almost any question is either "yes" or "ok". He doesn't express an opinion about anything like the food was nice, weather is hot, etc. Only thing I noticed he expresses an opinion about is more food, cigarettes or the facts he wants to go back to his bedroom.

I understand from staff that he has built up savings over the past 7 years (over £20k) because he doesn't use or ask for his money. Only money that is paid out is what he owes in rent, food and whatever staff buy him like clothing or when they take him out.

I would like to open savings account on his behalf and move some of the money. My motivation in the short term is that the money doesn't lose its value. In the long term I would like to be able to invest his money in a low to medium risk investment or whatever is most appropriate.

I have done some research online, and it appears Deputyship is the way forward. Am asking for advice or opinions or above from anyone has been is similar situation? Also, if I go through the Deputyship route, am I able to claim any expenses using my brother's money?
Hi, I can't help you with what you ask, but others here can, plus of course there are the experts at Carers UK itself (helpline or email ). However, I would definitely say that his money needs to be put somewhere completely safe, so that 'anyone else' (whoever that might be!) who might be tempted to take advantage of your brother gets their greedy hands on it!

As for investing it, alas, there aren't really any wide choices, if any. PLEASE do NOT 'hand over' his money to 'investment experts' as they only thing most of them are expert at is creaming the top off investors.......not necessarily from fraud, but general incompetence and of course loads of 'fees' etc.

Personally, I'd just find a good savings account which pays a little more interest because the money is 'locked away'.

PLEASE don't try and 'beat the system' or anything like that - can't be done.

Alll the best to you, and great your bro has you looking out for him. Kind regards, Jenny
Thanks Jenny, I appreciate your reply.

What do you mean by not to try to beat the system?

In terms of making sure the money isn't abused, becoming a Deputy, I or whoever becomes a Deputy, has to write annual reports and the Court has power to remove anyone from being a Deputy so am not really worried on that front. Just wanted to check if there is other options I should also explore. Savings account is the obvious and straight forward option but he's not someone who can open such account hence why am asking about becoming a Deputy.

Thanks again.
I suggest that you contact the Carers UK Adviceline team as they the experts on all matters related to caring and benefits.
Need expert advice? You can talk to the Carers UK Adviceline five days a week, no matter where you are in the UK or how complex your query is. We do benefits checks and advise on financial and practical matters related to caring.

0808 808 7777
Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm

The Carers UK Adviceline also includes a listening service, there for you to talk through your caring situation with a trained volunteer who understands what you are going through. Available Mondays and Tuesdays, from 9am to 7pm.

If you can’t get through on the phones (lines are often oversubscribed) then send them an email, they’ll usually get back to you within 3-5 working days.
Hi, I just meant that don't try and be 'clever' with the money! If you must invest, stick with tracker funds that just go up and down with the market in general (ie, they are spread very wide across blue chips etc), rather than a fund that says 'Oh, we're going to invest in China bonds' (or whatever!) and tries to 'beat the odds' (probably more accurate than 'system'!)

Overall, most investment funds rip off investors by charging fees for everything (including sneezing!) - after all, how else are they going to make their own money, except by creaming off a percentage of their investors' money. (Otherwise, hey ho, they'd be investing their OWN money in these whizzo funds they flog!)

(I have a HUGE distrust of investment funds - they are 'sucker plays' unless one is really, really skilled and experienced - in which case one wouldn't need to invest in a fund, one would invest directly in companies etc )

And there is NO IMPARTIAL ADVICE - however much the fund managers say they are! Banks are infamous for pretending to be impartial, and of course they aren't at all - they take NO RISK WITH YOUR MONEY THEMSELVES...so THEY can't lose. But YOU can!

With inflation so low, even if money just sits in a savings account earning zilch interest, then at least it will mostly hold its value.

Good luck with it!
There are a number of things to consider.
Does your brother have "mental capacity"? Google this for more info.
If he does, then he can give permission for you to handle his money for him.
If not, there is another option to consider, becoming his DWP "appointee", simple, quick and easy.
Becoming a Deputy can be long winded and there are very strict rules.

However, I'm wondering who is managing his money at the moment? I'm having real problems with my son's money management at the moment, in the past he has been repeatedly financially abused. If the home are managing it for him, do they have formal permission? Do they give anyone a monthly statement of all money in and out? My alarm bells are ringing!!!
Jenny - I understand now. To be honest investment bit I didn't think through properly. My main thought was at least to put it in savings account. But everything you said will keep in mind.

Bowlingbun - thanks for the reply. This place is NHS. They collect money from the cashier for him. I got lots of questions am waiting answers for like where exactly the money is sitting? Who manages the money? Am I allowed to see statements etc.

At the moment, whenever I ask for money to spend on him, they give it to me. They just expect a receipt from me. Maybe an being naive but I don't distrust them or feel anything bad is going on. Is just that I want to be more involved in the finance side of things. In terms of his care, I get updates etc. And it is more transparent.
Thanks. My mum was in a very expensive residential care home (1,110 per week) but theft was a really issue. Residents were told not to have any cash in their rooms, the home paid for papers, hairdressing etc. and then sent the resident a bill at the end of the month. I had power of attorney, so the accounts were sent to me.
So in many ways where your brother is clearly operates a similar system in many ways BUT it doesn't explain where his money is being kept, and who is currently managing it.
As you are clearly the closest relative, I would ask to make an appointment with the manager of the home, who should be able to explain. There is supposed to be a policy of "transparency", so your questions should be answered immediately, with full information available. If this is not the case, then I would contact the Complaints Section of the local NHS and just ask them to explain how the system works, as you don't understand it. So no accusations, just a "please explain". Again, they should answer openly how the system works.
However, because of the issue of Client Confidentiality, they might say that they cannot tell you exactly where the money is, without his permission. That's OK...IF... he is able to give consent. However, if they say he cannot give his consent due to his mental state, then there should have been a formal Mental Capacity Assessment and a formally agreed procedure for managing his money. At the end of the day, SOMEONE has been taking money out of his account, wherever it is. This a layman's explanation, however I have had POA for two relatives and DWP Appointeeship for a third, my son with severe learning difficulties. If in doubt, ring the CUK helpline, or email them. They are brilliant, but a reply will take roughly a week.
Just a quick thought.......you might well find that the Local Authority or NHS are actually already appointed as Deputies. This would not be at all unusual a situation. Which might or might not suit you.

Those acting as Deputies will probably welcome your input and suggestions about his savings. They might also also be willing to let you apply for deputyship...even as a partner in the arrangement.

We are a nosy lot...do let us know the oUtcome!!!! :(