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Managing someone else's financial affairs

Managing other people's money

You must have legal authority to manage someone else's money.

To have legal authority you must:

  • have the permission from the person whose money you are managing
  • the person, of adult age must have the mental capacity to give their consent

What happens if the person does not have mental capacity?

If the person does not have the mental capacity, you will need to get consent from:

Mental Capacity

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 applies to anyone:

  • aged over 16
  • in England and Wales
  • who lacks the capacity to make decisions about their life

It affects anyone who works with or for these people, including:

  • family
  • friends
  • carers
  • health and social care professionals

It covers all major decisions such as:

  • finances
  • social care
  • medical treatment
  • research and
  • everyday arrangements

More information on Mental Capacity Act 

Understanding the Mental Capacity Act


Different areas of legal authority


An Appointee looks after and manages someone else's benefits, such as:

  • Income Support
  • State pension
  • Pension Credit
  • Disability Living Allowance (Care & Mobility)
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Employment Support Allowance and
  • other benefits

To become an appointee you will need to complete a BF56 form.

A person that has mental capacity but lacks physical capacity e.g. due to a disabling illness, housebound etc., may decide to appoint someone to manage their affairs. Find out more about becoming an appointee at GOV.UK

Appointeeships - more information

Power of Attorney (Ordinary POA, General POA)

Allows you to nominate someone to make decisions on your behalf if you are physically incapable of doing this either temporarily or permanently. You must have the mental capacity to nominate someone to act on your behalf in relation to your finances.

  • You can only enter into an agreement like this with someone who has mental capacity to make decisions about their finances and give authority
  • POA are temporary agreements
  • If the person loses their mental capacity the POA will no longer be valid

Lasting Power of Attorney

Allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf you can no longer do so because you lack mental capacity. A Lasting power of Attorney can only be drafted when you have capacity and can only be used unless stated otherwise, when you lack mental capacity. A Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used after it has been registered and sealed by the Office of the Public Guardian.

About power of attorney

If you are going to take on the responsibility of managing a person's finances that:

  • cannot make decisions for themselves and
  • does not understand or have any insight into what happens to their finance

it may be that they do not have the mental capacity to manage their own finances.

If they do not have a registered Lasting Power of Attorney you will need to apply to be their deputy.

This applies in all cases where someone lacks mental capacity and has not made prior arrangements.

Being the next of kin does not give you the legal authority to make decisions or manage another adult's finances and you could be acting unlawfully.


A deputy is someone appointed to make decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. They can be a:

  • close friend
  • close relative
  • professional, like an accountant or a solicitor
  • the local authority

More information on becoming a Deputy

Adult Social Care Services

To qualify for our support, you must first have an assessment of your care needs. This includes whether:

  • you need help for your own needs, or
  • help to support you to care for someone else

What is an assessment?


If you or the person you have made the referral for meets the eligibility criteria, we may be able to help them manage their finances, if they have been assessed:

  • as lacking the mental capacity to do so or
  • are at risk of being financially abused

All referrals must be made through a social or health worker.

Contact us

Access to Adult Social Care Team
Call: 0208 430 2000 Option 2
Text phone:18001 020 8430 2000

Opening hours
Mon-Thurs 9am-5pm
Friday 9am-4.45pm

Request an assessment​​​