Asking someone to manage your finances

There may come a time when you aren’t able to manage all of your financial affairs yourself. You may want to arrange for someone close to you to manage them for you. There are different ways you could do this:

  • Set up a joint bank account – this means that the other person can make payments and take out money.
  • Set up a third-party mandate – this is where another person can make financial transactions in your name.
  • Arrange for someone you know and trust to collect your state benefits, if you receive them.
  • Give someone Power of Attorney – this is giving one or more people the legal power to manage your affairs. This can be temporary or long-term. The types and details of long-term Power of Attorney vary across the different nations of the UK.

Our financial guides can help you if you’re not sure what might be best in your situation. Call them for free on 0808 808 00 00.

Managing your finances

You might be making your own financial decisions at the moment. But there may come a time when that becomes difficult, or you become unable to tell people about your decisions.

If this happens, you may be able to arrange for someone else to make the decisions for you. There are different ways you can do this.

Whichever option you choose, you should ask someone you can trust completely. You should also check that they are happy to do it. If you’re not sure about what might be best for your individual situation, our financial guides can help. You can call them on 0808 808 00 00.


Banking and benefits

Setting up a joint bank account

You can organise for someone else to be able to take out money and make payments for you. You can do this by setting up a joint bank account.

  • You can change an account you have already so that it is held jointly with someone else.
  • You and the other person will both be responsible for any overdraft on the account.
  • They would take full responsibility for the overdraft if you died.

Arranging for someone to manage your bank account

You can arrange for your bank to let someone else take out money, write cheques and make other transactions in your name. The bank account will still be yours and it does not become a joint account. This arrangement is called a third-party mandate.

  • Most banks will ask you to fill out a form to apply for a third-party mandate. Not all mandates are approved by the bank.
  • The mandate should stop working immediately if you lose your mental capacity.
  • The bank will not know about any change in your condition. This means the person you nominate in the third-party mandate must tell them as soon as possible.

Arranging for someone to collect your state benefits

You can organise for someone you know and trust to collect your state benefits for you. This person is called an agent.

  • If your benefits are paid through a Post Office card account, you can do this by asking at your local Post Office.
  • If you receive benefits another way, speak to the office that deals with your payments (for example, Jobcentre Plus or your local Jobs and Benefits Office in Northern Ireland).

Arranging for someone to manage your state benefits

You can arrange for someone you know and trust to manage your state benefits claims for you. This person is called an appointee.

  • Your appointee will be able to deal with the benefits office for you.
  • They will also be responsible for making sure your details are correct.
  • Your appointee will be responsible for dealing with any situations where you may have been paid too much in benefits because your details were not correct.

For more information about the role and responsibilities of an appointee, visit gov.uk/become-appointee-for-someone-claiming-benefits


Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a written document that gives someone else authority to act on your behalf and manage your financial affairs. This person is known as your attorney. The legal power can be temporary or long-term.

Here are some things to know about Power of Attorney:

  • Most people appoint their husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried partner as an attorney.
  • Some people appoint another family member or a friend.
  • You can also appoint a professional, such as an accountant or lawyer.
  • You must completely trust the person.

There are different types of Power of Attorney depending on whether you live in England and Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland.

Mental capacity

You can only set up a Power of Attorney while you can make your own decisions. This is called having mental capacity. England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have different rules around mental capacity.

If you make any type of Power of Attorney, you may want to get help from a solicitor. Our financial guides can help you find one – call them on 0808 808 00 00.

Giving someone temporary Power of Attorney

You may want to give someone the power to manage your property and financial affairs for a set time. This could be while you’re staying in a care home or away on a long holiday. You can do this using an Ordinary Power of Attorney.

This can either be:

  • a general power, where your attorney has power over all of your property and financial affairs
  • a specific power to deal with just one aspect, such as managing your bank account or selling a property.

You don’t have to officially register an Ordinary Power of Attorney. But it does have to be written in a certain way. This means you’ll need help from a solicitor. This type of power stops when the set period ends, or earlier if you cancel it.

An Ordinary Power of Attorney also comes to an end if you lose your mental capacity. So it’s not the right power to give if you think this could happen to you.

Giving someone long-term Power of Attorney

You can also give someone the power to take over your property and financial affairs permanently. To do this, you need to use a long-term Power of Attorney. There are different types of long-term Power of Attorney whether you live in England and Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland.

Who takes over if there is no arrangement?

You can only grant a Power of Attorney if you still have mental capacity. If you lose mental capacity and no arrangement is in place, someone else can apply to the Court of Protection to act for you. This could be a partner, relative, close friend or professional.

The details for when there is no arrangement are different across England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.


Decisions about your health and care

As part of planning ahead, it’s important to start thinking about how you would like to be cared for. This is in case your health changes and you’re unable to tell other people what you want to happen. In England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, there are legal documents you can use to decide about your care in advance.

We have more information about planning ahead.

Back to Planning your finances

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