Introducing Ruth Meyer, head of our Court of Protection team

Introducing Ruth Meyer, head of our Court of Protection team

We asked Boyes Turner partner, Ruth Meyer, about how she supports children with cerebral palsy andtheir families through her role in the Court of Protection team.

Ruth qualified as a solicitor in 1990 and is also a qualified New York attorney. She has been involved in deputyship work for over 20 years. Her expertise is recognised by the Legal 500 and Chambers directories. She works alongside the medical negligence team at Boyes Turner to provide seamless, professional support for clients in managing their interim payments and compensation awards.

What is your role in the Court of Protection team?

I am the Head of the Court of Protection team. I act as both a deputy for clients who lack mental capacity and a trustee in cases where a client’s compensation is managed through a personal injury trust.

I offer a personalised, highly supportive level of service. As head of the team I select the team members who work for each client very carefully to ensure they are the right person for the client and the level of work involved so that their work is handled as efficiently and cost effectively for the client as possible.

Why would someone need a deputyship?

Someone who has been injured as a result of negligence may need a deputyship because they lack the mental capacity to make financial decisions. They may be able to manage small sums of money on a day to day basis but they may not be able to manage large sums of money, so in that situation a deputyship is needed. A deputy helps manage the deputyship bank account, purchase property,  pay for the care package and with investment of funds to produce an income to meet the client’s ongoing needs.

What else does your role as deputy involve?

I visit my clients once a year at their home. I feel it is important that this is a face to face meeting.

I organise and set up annual and monthly budgets to help families manage their finances. I can also help clients apply for disabled facility grants which can help meet the cost of essential adaptations to their home. I help families buy necessary equipment, such as wheelchairs or assistive technology, and therapies, such as physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy for their disabled child or family member.

I also deal with any applications that are needed, such as to buy and sell property or to set up a statutory will for approval by the Court of Protection.

To find out more about my day to day here.

When is a personal injury trust required?

We set up personal injury trusts for clients who are physically injured but still have mental capacity. A personal injury trust can offer support and protection to these vulnerable clients and enable them to keep their entitlement to some means tested benefits.

What is the hardest part of your job?

My role can be quite challenging and sometimes I need to mediate with families where the parents may have very different views from each other as to what is best for their child. However, by working closely with the family and supporting them a solution can often be found.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is meeting the families and being able to make a difference to their lives. Often it is the little things that can make the biggest difference, for example, I recently helped a family who needed a small run-around car to visit their child who was in hospital. The family already had a Motability vehicle but for the daily trips to hospital a smaller car was more suitable.

What are the common questions families ask you?

The most common questions I am asked usually relate to how we deal with families’ finances, such as, ‘How are our expenses paid?’ Often a family will not want to approach a deputy for every small expense they incur (but which can mount up), so we set up a monthly budget which gives them  flexibility and makes life easier.

Another question that families often ask is about the purchase of a more suitable home; ‘Can we buy a house? Can we afford it?’ It’s my role to ensure that our disabled clients’ compensation is managed and spent in their best interests, so I look at the settlement as a whole to see if a property can be purchased and then help the family do so in a way that is best for the client.

When arranging investment of the lump sum compensation, families may be nervous when meeting the Independent Financial Advisors and can be reluctant to ask questions. I support them through this process and ask questions on their behalf if necessary.  In the past I have been known to stop a fund manager using terms that were too technical and explain the position again to the client.

How do I contact Ruth Meyer’s team for help?

If you would like to find out more about our Court of Protection deputyship and personal injury trust  services, feel free to call or email us for a no-obligation discussion to see if we can help. Either email us on cop@boyesturner.com or call on 0800 884 0722. We are a large team led by Ruth as deputy, a senior associate solicitor, three associate solicitors, three paralegals and two secretaries. We know all of our clients by their first name and we are here to help.

Knowledgeable, organised, responsive, diligent, empathetic and human. I deal with many legal firms during the course of my work and have found the Court of Protection team at Boyes Turner to be, 'Simply the best'.

INDEPENDENT CASE MANAGER

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