Managing someone else's affairs
Mental Capacity Act 2005
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 aims to protect people aged 16 and over who are unable to make certain decisions for themselves, perhaps due to learning disabilities, mental health problems or because of an illness, for example dementia.
The Act enables people to choose someone to manage their finances and property, should they become incapable of doing so, and also to make health and welfare decisions on their behalf. This needs to be carefully thought out and the best way is to plan for the future by drawing up a legal agreement known as a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
There are two types of LPA:
- A Property and Affairs LPA 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 Personal Welfare LPA 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 with the capacity to do so can make an LPA and can appoint one or more attorneys to act in their best interest and consider their needs and wishes as far as possible.
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) supports and promotes decision making for those who lack capacity or would like to plan for their future. They can advise on how to prepare an LPA which must be registered with them before it can be used.
There will be a cost of £82 to register each LPA unless you get a reduction or exception. This means it costs £164 to register both a property and financial affairs LPA and a health and welfare LPA.
You should be aware that a 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 for this work.
If you become unable to manage your finances yourself and have no family or friends who are able to help we may be able to provide an appointee service to manage your Department of Work and Pensions benefits and pensions.
Find out about the appointee service
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