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Professional Costs on the Death of P
On the Client’s death, the Deputyship is at an end and the SCCO has no authority to assess a Professional Deputy’s bill or continue with an assessment that has partially progressed without further authority from the COP. The deputy also needs to refer to an executor to see if the costs can be agreed (Practice Direction 23(b)paragraph 10). Where a professional deputy is also the executor for the client’s estate, there is a potential conflict of interest, and the bill should be submitted to the SCCO for assessment. In such circumstances, the SCCO will need permission from the COP to carry out a final assessment. To avoid unnecessary costs, the SCCO will accept COP authority in the form of an email or letter. For full guidance, refer to Section 23.15 of the SCCO Guide or contact the SCCO directly. The further guidance given means that, in practice, the SCCO may now allow ‘reasonable costs’ post death of the Protected Party without permission from the COP, and that such costs should not be expected to exceed £1,500 plus VAT. If post death costs exceed £1,500 the Bill won’t be rejected outright but may be referred to the Costs Judge for his direction so it’s worth including in the covering letter or narrative to the Bill why the post death costs are so high.