Managing someone else's affairs

You can apply for the right to look after financial and legal affairs or the welfare of someone else if they can't do it for themselves.

You can manage someone else's financial and legal affairs or their welfare if they can't do it themselves because they 'lack mental capacity' - this means they can’t make a particular decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made.

Someone may lack mental capacity because, for example, they have:

  • dementia
  • had a serious brain injury or illness

The law says a person must not be treated as unable to make a decision just because they make an unwise decision.

Read the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice for more information.

Benefits, tax credits and pension

You can apply for the right to deal with someone else's:

You’ll be known as an ‘appointee’.  You can only apply for this if the person can't deal with these things themselves because they lack mental capacity.

The person’s benefit or tax credit will be paid directly to you. You must tell the office that deals with that benefit about any changes that affect how much money the person gets.


You can arrange with someone’s bank, building society or the Post Office to collect their benefit payments without becoming an appointee. 

Power of attorney

You can make decisions about someone else’s financial affairs and their personal welfare if they nominated you when they made a lasting power of attorney (LPA) or enduring power of attorney (EPA).

If the person you’re looking after can’t appoint you as a lasting power of attorney because they've already lost mental capacity, you can apply to become a deputy

Find out if someone has an attorney or deputy acting for them.

Make, register or end a lasting power of attorney.

Emergency and one-off decisions

Apply to the Court of Protection if you need to make a one-off or emergency decision for someone else.

One-off or emergency decisions include:

  • emergency medical treatment
  • where someone should live
  • selling their home