Receipt for residuary gift

If a beneficiary is unable to give a receipt for a legacy (in this case substantial) because they have dementia (they are in a care home) and there are no relatives willing to do so and no LPA or deputyship in force can the executors send a cheque payable to the beneficiary at the care home (with their agreement) and ask the manager to deposit it into the beneficiaries account? Or is there something more I need to do? Perhaps some form of court approval? The local authority have refused to obtain a deputyship order over the lady’s affairs.
sharon edelstyn
Phoenix Legal Group

The executors need to get a discharge for the payment although they could waive that. Even if you send a cheque, it could be misappropriated. What authority does the Nursing Home have to deal with the beneficiary’s mail anyway?

Graeme Lindop
Coles Miller Solicitors LLP

As the amount in question is “substantial”, I wonder if it might be appropriate to contact the OPG/Court of Protection, to see if they would be willing to arrange for a Visitor to go out to the beneficiary. In the absence of a deputy or other person managing their financial affairs, they may be in a vulnerable position. It may also be that they are receiving benefits and receipt of the legacy will disqualify them. It might be that a CoP panel member could then be appointed as deputy in the absence of any volunteer.

I would be wary of bringing to the attention of third parties the fact the beneficiary is entitled to a substantial sum, as this could compound their vulnerability. However, you might encourage the care home to let you know if the beneficiary dies, so that you can then contact whoever will be dealing with their estate.

Like Graeme Lindop, I would be unwilling to pay the monies over to the care home. Should any of the monies go missing (or interest not be allowed on the monies), you find your firm remains liable to restore the beneficiary, or their estate, as you have not either accounted to the beneficiary for their entitlement, nor obtained a satisfactory discharge.

Paul Saunders

It may be worth asking who pays for the beneficiary’s care fees - if the local authority then you may find that they will change their minds about applying for a Deputyship order if the legacy is substantial enough to take the beneficiary into the self-funding regime. Alternatively as the previous reply has indicated a Panel Deputy could be appointed. The wider family may of course change their minds about being involved once they realise that a professional deputy will otherwise be needed and the costs that are involved.

Sarah Nadin
Banner Jones Solicitors