Court of Protection - Investing a minor's assets

I would be interested in obtaining your views on a complex discretionary investment management query in connection with a Court of Protection (COP) case. We have an established COP service which has a tailor made application form in order to capture the KYC details for the Protected Person and for the Court Appointed Deputy/Deputies. Accounts are styled in our records as: ‘Name of Protected Person (‘Name of Deputy’ as Deputy)’. The Deputy is the account owner, who signs up to the our client agreement and is the only party who can issue our firm with instructions.

An issue has arisen as a protected person in a COP case is a minor and typically we are not able to open investment accounts held solely in the name of a minor as they are under 18 (save for a Junior ISA) and are therefore unable to contract with the firm.

We have referred the case to our Legal team and they do not believe that the account can be opened as it is. Our Legal Team have referred to the STEP Guidelines - Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyship:[] where it states that Deputies should keep their assets separate from those of the protected person save where it is not possible to register an asset in the name of the protected person (for example in this case where the protected person is a minor). In such situations, STEP recommend that the Deputy executes a declaration of trust to make clear the protected person’s interest in the asset.

I would like to get your views on whether this approach would also extend to a COP arrangement involving a minor as the protected person?

For this particular case, the Court of Protection Order has been drafted in a way which authorises the Deputy to appoint an investment manager to manage the protected person’s assets on a discretionary basis if the Deputy believes that this is in the protected person’s best interests.

Kind regards,

Neil Deacon
Brooks Macdonald Group plc.