For some people there comes a time when you can no longer make decisions about your finances, care or other personal matters.

In this situation, if you have the mental capacity to do so, you can appoint someone to look after your affairs called a power of attorney.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is someone you've chosen to manage your affairs in the event you become unable to make decisions for yourself (e.g. through sickness or post-stroke).

Some people choose to put these measures in place before they are needed. Before doing so, you may want to consult independent legal advice. 

You can get detailed information about appointing or becoming a power of attorney on the GOV.UK website.

What is a deputy?

deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection to manage a person's property and financial affairs if they lack mental capacity to do so themselves. This includes savings, pensions, all sources of income, and assets such as property and valuables.

What is an appointee?

For those with limited assets it may be more appropriate to apply to the Department for Work and Pensions to become an appointee for someone claiming benefits.

An appointee is responsible for dealing with benefits, paying bills and managing a limited amount of savings in case of unforeseen circumstances.

What if there's no one to become an appointee or deputy?

In this circumstance a social worker may decide the Council should act on your behalf. This decision would be made with regards to the Mental Capacity Act.

For more information on deputyship and appointeeship, please contact us on 020 8496 3000.

If you need support making a lasting power of attorney

If you need support making a lasting power of attorney,  contact the Office of the Public Guardian.

Office of the Public Guardian

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Alternatively you can get in touch with a solicitor or one of the organisations listed below. 

  • If the person whose affairs you will manage has dementia or Alzheimer's, you can get independent information and advice from the Alzheimer's Society.
  • Age UK and Money Advice Service provide information on power of attorney.