Managing someone's finances
Managing someone’s finances can involve several things. You could be looking after their bank accounts and savings, claiming benefits on their behalf, or making or helping them to make decisions about how their money is spent. You might be managing their finances temporarily or long-term.
There are different ways of managing someone’s finances depending on the circumstances. Below are a few of the main options available to help you manage someone’s finances. The Carers UK website is also a good source of information on this.
Power of attorney
If the person has mental capacity (the ability to understand, make and communicate decisions), they can give you a power of attorney. There are different types of power of attorney such as ordinary power of attorney, which allows you to look after someone’s finances for a temporary period, and lasting power of attorney, which gives you long-term responsibility for someone’s finances.
To deal with someone’s benefits, you must become an appointee. A person who is entitled to benefits can only have one appointee to act on their behalf. As an appointee, you are responsible for the person’s benefit claims, including signing the benefit claim form and spending the benefit in the person’s best interest. The benefit may be paid directly to you depending on the circumstances.
Deputy and deputyship
If somebody lacks mental capacity, it is not possible to get a power of attorney. People might lack mental capacity due to:
- severe learning disabilities
- a serious brain injury or illness
In this case, you can ask the Court of Protection to appoint you as a deputy. A deputy is normally a family member or somebody who knows the person well and can make decisions about their finances, welfare and property. It is possible for more than one person to be a deputy for someone.