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28 Dealing with Someone Else's Affairs

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1 Introduction

2. What is 'mental capacity'?

3. When can I deal with someone's financial affairs?

4. How can I help someone to collect or spend their benefits and pensions?

5. When can I have access to someone's bank accounts?

6. What must an attorney do?

7. What if there is no enduring power of attorney?

8. What must a 'receiver' do?

9. What if a person recovers their mental capacity?

10. How can I make sure a disabled relative is cared for after I die?

This question is raised most often by parents of a child with a long-term disability, who want to make sure that their son or daughter will continue to be cared for, and to have financial security, after the parents' death. This could be done by:

  • making a will leaving money to the disabled relative, or to other family members who could be trusted to take care of the disabled relative;
  • making a will leaving money to a charity which provides specialist care for the disabled relative; or
  • creating a trust with discretionary powers for the trustees to provide for the disabled relative's care needs.

However, when money is provided for the disabled person under a trust or other legal arrangement, including a will, their income or benefits from the DWP could be reduced or stopped, and charges for care services could increase. If you are in this position, you will need to consider this decision carefully, and seek specialist legal advice. Solicitors who belong to the Probate Section of the Law Society or Solicitors for the Elderly may be able to help. See 'Further help' for details.

11. Can I deal with decisions about someone's healthcare?

12. What if the person becomes involved in court proceedings?

13. Protecting vulnerable people from abuse

14. Further help

15. About this leaflet

This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Penny Letts, a policy consultant specialising in mental health and capacity issues.

Leaflet Version: November 2019

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