Managing someone else’s affairs
There may be a point in your life where you are unable to manage your finances and need someone to do this for you. If you care for a family member or friend, you may need to manage their finances or other affairs when they’re unable to do so. For example because you or the person you care for are:
- unable to make decisions for themselves because of mental illness (This is known as loss of mental capacity)
- ill or disabled
- out of the country for a while
Managing someone else’s affairs can include:
- looking after their bank accounts, savings, investments or other financial affairs
- buying and selling property on their behalf
- claiming and spending welfare benefits on their behalf
- deciding where they live
- making decisions about their day to day personal care or healthcare
Prepare to manage someone else’s finances or arrange for someone to look after your finances
It’s never too early to think about how you want your finances to be managed if you are unable to.
If you are a regular carer for someone who couldn’t manage without your help it is helpful to plan ahead. Talk to them to find out how they want their finances to be managed if they are unable to manage themselves.
You may suddenly need to manage someone else’s finances for them if they become unwell or their condition worsens. This may be unavoidable but it helps to prepare for this just in case you ever need to step in.
Planning Ahead: Power of Attorney
There are legal arrangements that you can make to give you power to make decisions and manage the person’s finances if you ever need to. This is called Power of Attorney.
Power of Attorney must be arranged while the person you care for can still make decisions, so it’s worth thinking about it as soon as possible. Read more on www.gov.uk
Age UK also offer advice on Power of Attorney.
If someone loses their capacity to make decisions and you don’t have any legal arrangements in place
If you or the person you care for loses capacity to make decisions about their finances and you do not have a lasting power of attorney in place, a financial deputyship can be arranged. This means that someone else is appointed by the Court of Protection to manage their finances. Read more on www.gov.uk.
Managing someone else’s benefits
Appointeeship allows for the management of benefits only on behalf of someone who lacks capacity to do so themselves. This can be arranged by contacting the Department for Work and Pensions.
Managing the finances of someone you care for
Money Advice Service has more information on help to manage the money of someone you’re caring for
Other things to think about when managing someone else’s affairs
Are they claiming all the benefits they’re entitled to?
A local independent service can give you advice and guide you through the application process:
- Citizens Advice Newcastle give advice to anyone in Newcastle
- Newcastle Welfare Rights Service give advice to people in priority groups including those over 65. They have self help material on their website.
- Search Newcastle give benefits advice to older people in the West of Newcastle
- Find more about benefit advice services available across Newcastle.
Read more on InformationNOW about these topics:
- Advocacy – support available to get your voice heard
- Advance Decisions
- Mental Health
- Learning Disabilities
- Where to get Legal Advice
Last updated: October 15, 2020