Managing someone else’s financial affairs

Many Carers will help the person they care for by keeping an eye on day-to-day spending and budgeting, explaining paperwork or attending meetings.

You are at risk if you manage someone’s financial affairs without putting clear and open arrangements in place.

There are various ways in which you can help someone with their financial affairs:

Carers Cards on a bank account. Many high-street banks will allow the person you care for to give you restricted access to the money in their bank account through a special debit card.

A third-party mandate is a document that tells a person’s bank, building society or other account provider that they can accept instructions about that person’s money from a specific named person.

Become an appointee for someone claiming benefits. You can apply to the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) for the right to deal with the benefits of someone who cannot manage their own affairs because they’re mentally impaired or severely disabled.

The person you care for could grant you an ordinary power of attorney which would give you the authority to deal with specific financial issues they specify in the document. The person must have mental capacity when setting up the ordinary power of attorney for it to be valid. It’s best to get legal advice to prepare the document.

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets a person appoint one or more people to help them make decisions or make decisions on their behalf, should they lose mental or physical capacity. There are 2 types of LPA: property and financial affairs and health and welfare. The person you care for needs to have created the LPA when they have the mental capacity to do so and LPAs can only be used once they are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. There are fees to pay on registration of this document.

Deputyship. You can apply to the Court of Protection to become a deputy for the person you care for if they lack the mental capacity to appoint attorneys through an LPA. They may still be able to make some decisions for themselves at certain times but are unable to make a decision at the time that it needs to be made.
You can apply to become someone’s deputy if they ‘lack mental capacity’. There are 2 types of deputy: property and financial affairs deputy and personal welfare deputy. If you’re appointed, you’ll get a court order saying what you can and cannot do.  Please note that the court will only appoint a welfare deputy in very specific circumstances.