Your personal affairs and managing the affairs of someone else

Your personal affairs and managing the affairs of someone else

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 was introduced to protect adults over the age of 16 in England and Wales who are not able to make their own decisions as a result of an illness or disability.

If someone lacks the skills and abilities to make their own decisions, they are said to be lacking in mental capacity.

The act also allows you to choose who manages your finances and property and makes decisions for your health and welfare if you are not able to make your own decisions in the future.

If you have are living with a condition which may affect your mental capacity in the future you may need to think about planning for a time when you cannot make your own decisions.

If you are a carer there may also come a time when you are asked to, or need to, manage the personal affairs of the person you care for.

Different ways to manage somebody else's affairs

There are different ways that personal affairs can be managed by a different person, depending upon the circumstances. A person’s affairs can be managed by:

  • appointing someone by making a power of attorney which is covered on this page
  • a letter or a third party mandate to handle financial accounts for short period of time
  • an agent or appointed person to handle and collect benefits
  • a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection

Power of attorney

When a person makes a power of attorney they appoint another person or people to make decisions and act on their behalf.

If you are making the power of attorney you are known as the donor and must be able to make your own decisions at the time of the appointment.

If you are appointed by someone making a power of attorney you are known as the attorney.

As attorney you will have the right to deal with banks, building societies, Solihull Council and other organisations as necessary on behalf of the person appointing you.

How you act depends on your appointment. There are 2 types of power of attorney:

  • Lasting power of attorney
  • Ordinary power of attorney

Before October 2007 you could appoint an enduring power of attorney.

For more information about using or cancelling an enduring power of attorney you can visit the government’s official website, www.gov.uk, for full information.

To learn more about a lasting power of attorney and to discuss your options you can visit the Community Information and Advice Hubs in:

Lasting power of attorney

A lasting power of attorney, often abbreviated to just LPA, is suitable if you want someone to look after your affairs for a long period of time.

You should make a lasting power of attorney if you:

  • have been diagnosed with a condition which can lead to mental incapacity
  • think you may develop a condition which can lead to mental incapacity

Illnesses which may prevent you from making your own decisions in the future include:

  • dementia
  • mental health issues
  • alcohol or drug misuse

There are 2 types of lasting power of attorney:

  • A property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney
  • A personal welfare lasting power of attorney

You can also make both a property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney and a personal welfare lasting power of attorney.

You do not have to make both types at the same time.

Property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney

A property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney gives someone the authority to:

  • pay your bills
  • manage your bank, building society or other accounts
  • buy or sell your property
  • handle your benefits and tax credits

When you give someone property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney you can design it to suit you. That means that you can decide what your attorney can and cannot do. You can also decide when it takes effect.

A property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney:

  • must be given to someone you choose and trust completely
  • can be used while you still have your mental capacity
  • can be used as soon as it is registered
  • must include authority for your attorney to make decisions once you have lost your mental capacity

Personal welfare lasting power of attorney

A personal welfare lasting power of attorney authorises the attorney to access your personal information and to make decisions about your day to day life, including:

  • where you live
  • what you eat
  • what you wear
  • your healthcare treatment

A personal welfare lasting power of attorney:

  • must be given to someone you choose and trust completely
  • can be made to deal with all or only some aspects of your personal welfare
  • cannot be used until you have lost your mental capacity
  • must be registered before it can be used

When you give someone personal welfare lasting power of attorney you can design it to suit you. That means that you can decide what your attorney can and cannot do.

Making a lasting power of attorney

To make a lasting power of attorney you must be able to make decisions for yourself.

To make a lasting power of attorney the Gov.UK website has all the forms you need to complete as well as full information on what is involved in the process and the fees that may be involved.

If you want to appoint someone to look after your financial affairs and your personal welfare you will have to complete a form for both:

  • a property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney which is form LPA PA
  • a personal welfare lasting power of attorney which is form LPA PW

It is important to read the notes that are provided with each form carefully.

Once you have completed your form or forms you will need to register the lasting power of attorney with the Office of the Public Garden. Your attorney can also register the lasting power of attorney.

When you do register your lasting power of attorney you can request that named people are told of your decision.

To help protect you from fraud and to show that you have not been pressurised into the decision you should complete form LPA 001.

To register your lasting power of attorney you should complete form LPA002.

The forms you have completed need to be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian along with the registration fee, if you have to pay it.

The Public Guardian must notify you and your attorney that your lasting power of attorney has been registered within 3 weeks, if there are no objections received.

Ending a lasting power of attorney

A lasting power of attorney will end automatically when the donor dies.

If you want to end your lasting power of attorney early you can cancel it. You must be able to make your own decisions to cancel the lasting power of attorney.

Your attorney can also cancel the lasting power of attorney if they no longer want to carry out the duties. They must do this by completing form LPA 005 from the Gov.UK website and sending it to:

  • you, the donor
  • the Office of the Public Guardian
  • any other attorneys

Ordinary power of attorney

An ordinary power of attorney is suitable if you want someone to manage your financial affairs for a long period of time if you have:

  • a physical illness
  • an accident which causes physical injury
  • a long stay abroad

An ordinary power of attorney is not suitable if you:

  • have been diagnosed with a condition which can lead to mental incapacity
  • think you may develop a condition which can lead to mental incapacity

Other advice

You can also read advice from:

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