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Managing someone else's affairs

If you care for someone else 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 your money for you and become your Appointee if:

  • you are receiving social care services such as home care, day care or have a support worker; or
  • you live in a residential or nursing home and receive state benefits.

The council is not the same as a bank or a building society, and we can only do this if you are unable to make decisions about your own money.  We call this ability to make decisions 'capacity'.  We cannot manage your money just because we don't agree with how you are spending it.

If you want the council to become your Appointee then please speak to the person who provides or arranges your care and they will help you to arrange this, or they may suggest this to you.

As your Appointee, the council will arrange to receive your state benefits and to pay your bills, managing your money for you.

Contact

Revenues and Benefits
Phone: 020 8215 3000 
Email: Benefits@lbbd.gov.uk

Power of attorney, court of protection, becoming a deputy

There may come a time when it becomes necessary for someone else to manage your financial affairs or make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. 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, you may need to give someone else (if you are able to do so) the legal power to make some important decisions for you. This is called making them an Attorney. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) protects people aged 16 and over who cannot make these particular decisions.

The person you choose as your Attorney could be a responsible relative, friend or professional. On the other hand, if someone asks you to be their Attorney, it's important that you know exactly what it involves.

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 you nominate to deal with your finances and make specific decisions for you. 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.

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.

More information can be found at the Office of the Public Guardian website.

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. 

Court of protection deputy information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

The Law Society has a database, which you can search in order to help you find a local solicitor.