Planning ahead for when you can’t manage your money

Money Advice Service

Even if you’re able to manage your money yourself now, it can be worthwhile thinking about who’d help you if you couldn’t do it any more.

If you think you may need permanent help in the future

You might need ongoing help to manage your money if, for example, you’ve been diagnosed with a condition affecting your mental capacity – your ability to understand and make your own decisions.

Or you might simply want to plan ahead. Either way, you can set up a legal arrangement that gives someone else the right to make decisions about your finances on your behalf.

Nobody likes to think that at some time in the future they might lose their mental capacity and be unable to make the right decisions but setting up a power of attorney is something everybody should consider.

Without a power of attorney in place, to have someone else handle your affairs can be costly and complicated.

Don’t forget

You can set up a power of attorney only while you’re still able to make decisions.

This arrangement has different names in different parts of the UK:

  • In England and Wales – lasting power of attorney
  • In Scotland – continuing power of attorney
  • In Northern Ireland – enduring power of attorney

Who to choose as your attorney

Most people appoint their husband, wife, partner, other family member or a close friend as their attorney. It must be someone you trust completely.

Your attorney will take decisions for you, but should always act in your best interests.

Your attorney can also be a company – for example, a firm of solicitors or a bank. Companies will charge a fee for providing this service.

Thinking about a power of attorney – checklist

Choose someone you trust completely

It’s a good idea to name one or more replacement attorneys who would take over if your first choice died or couldn’t act for you any more.

Make sure they’re willing to act for you

Make sure that you talk over your affairs with them, so that they know:

  • What’s involved
  • What your wishes would be, and
  • Where to find your paperwork – including the power of attorney document itself.

Register the power of attorney in plenty of time

It takes several weeks to register and even if you have already lost mental capacity, your attorney wouldn’t be able to act for you in that time.

So it makes sense to plan in advance.

Think about the age of those you are considering

If you are older and the people you choose are all the same age as you, they might not end up being the best people to act for you if and when you need their help.

Making a power of attorney – your next steps

In itself, setting up the power of attorney doesn’t take control away from you. It can’t be used until it’s been formally registered.

You don’t have to register it straight away – you can set up the power of attorney now and only get it registered it when it’s going to be needed.

Remember, your attorney has to act in your best interests after the power of attorney is set up.

Read our guide on Setting up a power of attorney

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

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