Infographic: How to manage financial affairs for older people
As we are now living longer it is important to look at the ways in which we can safeguard your financial well-being
. As we age our ability to make clear decisions can diminish through illness, disability or an unfortunate accident.
However In light of this, there are a few ways you can ensure that your money is taken care of
when you are unable to make decisions yourself. An infographic is set out below for convenience or you can simply read the details below it, digest the information in any way you feel appropriate.
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You can do this in a number of ways including:
- lasting power of attorney
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
With an LPA you can appoint someone to manage your affairs
when you can no longer do so yourself. You set up an LPA whilst you are still able to fully understand the decision you are making. There are 2 types of LPA, depending on what you would like them to deal with:
- Health and welfare – such as where you live and how you will be cared for in later years
- Property and financial affairs - such as your money or benefits, the sale of your home and the paying of your bills
When choosing your attorney you need to appoint someone you can trust
to make decisions in your best interests. Legally, anyone can be an attorney as long as they are 18 or over, able to make decisions and they are not bankrupt.
If you don't have family to act as your LPA you can appoint a solicitor
if it is more convenient.
To appoint someone as your LPA you need to:
If you are no longer able to make decisions and appoint an LPA, the Court of Protection will either appoint an LPA on your behalf
or appoint a 'deputy'.
The Court of Protection is able to make decisions on behalf of a person
who is not able to do so themselves. The deputy plays a similar role to the LPA, but it is the court who sets out their duties.
If there is no one close to you that can become a deputy the Court of Protection will appoint a 'panel deputy'
such as someone with specialist knowledge like a mental capacity solicitor.
If you want to become a deputy for your elderly loved one you can apply to the Court of Protection
. If the court approves your application they will send you a court order explaining your role and its limitations. A solicitor can do all of this for you
if you don't have the time or are not comfortable with submitting the application yourself.
As an elderly person you may be entitled to a state pension or other benefits. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
can select an 'appointee' to receive those benefits on your behalf
, if you are unable to do so, and spend them within your best interests.
An appointee can be a friend, a relative, a solicitor or an organisation like your local council. An appointee will have to come up with some proof that you are incapacitated, such as a doctor's certificate
If you want to become an appointee for a loved one, you will need to contact the DWP. They will then send somebody out to assess your suitability
to be an appointee and to see if an appointee is needed. The DWP will monitor the situation to ensure that you still need an appointee and they are performing their duties correctly.
Do I need a solicitor?
A solicitor can help you to fill out all the necessary forms and help you submit them
to the Court of Protection to make the process as simple and efficient as possible. A solicitor that is a specialist in the field will be well experienced in dealing with the Court of Protection
and its paperwork.