Office of the Public Guardian has issued a new practice note on its approach to solicitor client accounts.
The practice note explains OPG’s approach to the use of client accounts to manage deputyship funds and the interaction between a solicitor’s deputy’s duties under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the Solicitors Regulation Authority Accounts Rules 2011 and the MCA Code of Practice.
OPG clarifies that it has no objection in principle to the use of general client accounts as a temporary or holding position prior to deputies setting up segregated client accounts or separate bank accounts as expected, to manage ongoing transactions.
OPG will also need to be satisfied that deputies have proper safeguards in place to protect deputyship funds. A deputy has a general duty to act in the incapacitated person’s best interests, which can include managing their funds to gain the best return.