Managing Someone Else's Affairs
There may come a time when it becomes necessary to manage someone's affairs if they are unable to do so themselves, perhaps due to learning disabilities, mental health problems or because of an illness, such as dementia. You may be caring for the person already, or they may be someone close to you who is finding it difficult to cope.
You can look after someone else's affairs under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. This legislation gives people the right to make decisions for themselves where possible. It also includes measures to allow someone else to manage their finances and property and make health and welfare decisions if they can no longer do so.
This is a sensitive matter and needs to be carefully thought out. The best way to handle the situation is to plan for the future if possible, by drawing up a legal agreement known as a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
Office of the Public Guardian
You can find out more about how LPAs work from the Office of the Public Guardian – the official watchdog body that protects the interests of people who are unable to manage their own affairs. Visit the Office of the Public Guardian website by following the link at the bottom of the page.
It can advise you on how to prepare an LPA, which will need to be registered with the office before it can be used. This costs between £150 and £300. An LPA is a powerful and important legal document and you may wish to seek legal advice from a solicitor with experience of preparing them. There are likely to be costs involved in this work.
More advice and information
The National Careline website gives information on a number of subjects as well as Power of Attorney.
If the person whose affairs you will manage has dementia or Alzheimer's disease, you can get independent information and advice from the Alzheimer's Society