Organising your financial and legal affairs will allow you to have peace of mind that all issues can be dealt with in the way you have chosen. You may wish to consider the following issues:
- Arrange bills to be paid by direct debit and benefits to be paid directly into the bank account
- Consider joint accounts
- Seek advice from a solicitor or financial adviser if needed (especially with complicated matters such as setting up a trust, etc.)
- Make sure you are receiving all the benefits to which you are entitled (please see the Benefits section)
- Make a will
- Consider arranging Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
LPA is a legal document which gives the person/persons you have chosen the right to make decisions for you on financial and/or health care matters in case you lose the capacity to make decisions yourself. You may choose to have only one or both LPAs.
The LPA gives the person a choice of conferring broad or limited powers to the attorney to make decisions on their behalf, and a choice of who to appoint. For example, it is possible to appoint relatives to make welfare decisions, but a professional adviser for decisions relating to their property and affairs.
A property and affairs LPA gives the attorney(s) the power to make decisions about financial and property matters, such as selling a house or managing a bank account.
A personal welfare LPA gives the attorney(s) the power to make decisions about health and personal welfare, such as day-to-day care, medical treatment, or where the person should live.
A personal welfare LPA only ever takes effect when the donor lacks capacity to make decisions. A property and affairs LPA can take effect as soon as it is registered, even while the donor still has capacity, unless the donor specifies otherwise. The donor can, of course, specify that the attorney may only start managing their financial affairs after they lose capacity, some time in the future.
Further information on LPAs is available from the Office of the Public Guardian:
Office of the Public Guardian
2 Junction Road,
For Customer services phone: 0845 330 2900