Managing someone else's affairs
If you care for someone there may come a time when you have to manage their affairs. This means dealing with things like property and financial issues, or even health and welfare choices, on their behalf. Here is some advice about the steps you might need to consider.
Appointing the council to manage your money
It may be possible for the Council to manage a person's money for them if as a carer you do not want to take on that responsibility or if your cared for wants the Council to manage their money. The Council can become an Appointee for your cared for if:
- They are receiving social care services such as home care, day care or have a support worker; or
- They live in a residential or nursing home and receive state benefits.
The Council is not the same as a bank or building society, and they can only do this if your cared for are unable to make decisions about their own money. We call this ability to make decisions 'capacity'. The Council cannot manage your cared for's money just because the Council don't agree with how they are spending it.
If your cared for want the Council to become their Appointee then please speak to the person who provides or arranges your cared for's care and they will help them to arrange this.
What does an Appointee do?
As an Appointee, the Council will arrange to receive your cared for's state benefits and wil pay their bills, managing their money for them.
Getting in touch
Revenues and Benefits
Phone: 020 8215 3000
Fax: 020 8227 2574
If your cared for receive social care services, speak to the person who arranges their care and ask them for more information.
Power of attorney, court of protection, becoming a deputy
There may come a time when it becomes necessary for someone else to manage a person's financial affairs or make decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so themselves. This may be due to a learning disability, mental health needs or because of an illness, such as dementia. It can make dealing with important choices a real problem.
If this happens, the person may need to give someone else (if they are able to do so) the legal power to make some important decisions for them. This is called making them an attorney. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 protects people aged 16 and over who cannot make these particular decisions.
The person they choose as their Attorney could be a responsible relative, friend or professional. If you as a person's unpaid carer wish to be your cared for's Attorney, it's important that you know exactly what it involves and that your cared for is also clear and understands what is involved.
The best way to do this is to draw up a legal agreement known as a Lasting Power of Attorney. You need to think carefully about this as a Lasting Power of Attorney is a powerful and important legal document. This is because of the power it gives a person who the cared for person nominates to deal with their finances and make specific decisions for them. You should speak to a solicitor who has experience of preparing Lasting Power of Attorneys and ask for their advice. You will probably have to pay for this. Or you can apply online direct with www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney/overview where you will be able to fill in the forms and print them off for signing.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
- A Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney enables you to make decisions on someone else's behalf about their property and affairs when they are no longer able to do so. This can include paying bills, managing a bank account or selling property.
- A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney enables you to make decisions on someone else's behalf about their health and personal welfare, such as giving consent to medical treatment or deciding where they should live.
Anyone aged 18 or over who is capable of doing so can make a Lasting Power of Attorney and can choose one or more Attorneys to include a replacement Attorney. Attorneys must act in the person’s best interests and consider their needs and wishes as far as possible.
The best place to start is the Office of the Public Guardian which has information about the Court of Protection process and the two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney. It can also help you to plan for the future. The Office of the Public Guardian can advise how to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney document and it will need to be registered with them before it can be used. There will be a cost of £110 (March 2015) (March 2015) for this unless you are eligible for a fee exemption or reduction. If you approach a solicitor to assist you with the process it may cost more.
For further information go to the Office of the Public Guardian website:https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-of-the-public-guardian
Please note: Lasting Power of Attorney replaced Enduring Power of Attorney in October 2007. An existing Enduring Power of Attorney remains valid as long as it was signed before that date and while the person was still able to make decisions for themselves. If they start to lose the ability to make decisions then the Enduring Power of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. If there is no Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney in place, a deputy may be appointed to make the decisions needed. Please contact the Office of the Public Guardian for further advice.
Court of Protection Deputy
Where no Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney exists you can apply to the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of someone who may lack capacity to do so themselves. A deputy order can relate to making decisions about finances or personal welfare. For further information visit:
Finding a solicitor
The Law Society has a database, which you can search in order to help you find a local solicitor:http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/