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Managing an Elderly Relative’s Finances
Looking after an elderly relative's property and finances is a huge responsibility, and it can also be something that comes with legal complications. JMW Solicitors are highly experienced in providing professional legal support and advice on this matter, whatever your personal circumstances may be.
You may find yourself in this situation if your elderly relative has lost their mental capacity, which typically happens due to issues such as:
- Mental illness or mental handicap
- Age-related illness such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or dementia
As it can be an extremely sensitive matter, it is important that you enlist an experienced legal expert when you are making this transition towards taking over a loved one’s finances and/or property.
The specialist solicitors at JMW can help you to determine whether the Court of Protection or a Lasting Power of Attorney is the best route, and we can also advise you on what legal action is required from you once this decision has been made. This will depend on whether your loved one has already lost mental capacity, or if you are organising their financial protection before this happens.
If you require advice or assistance, our team of expert Court of Protection solicitors at JMW are on hand to help. Call us today on 0345 872 6666, or fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back at a time that is convenient for you.
How JMW Can Help
There are many different things to take into consideration when you’re managing an elderly relative’s finances. At JMW, we have a dedicated and highly knowledgeable team of solicitors who can advise and support you with each step of this process.
We can help ensure that you have everything in place to effectively and legally manage your family member’s money, such as the relevant paperwork, while always considering what is best for them.
Our expert court of protection solicitors are dedicated to making complex cases and situations as straightforward and stress-free as possible for all of our clients, particularly in circumstances like this.
We understand that this can be a difficult time for you and your family, as it may be following a recent diagnosis, or can mean that you have had to have an uncomfortable conversation with a loved one. However, you can rest assured that we are here for you to lean on and will be able to offer our full legal support and expertise to relieve you of some of the pressure you may be facing during this process.
Alternatively, we can also offer professional services to manage your money ourselves, taking care of bill payments, care home fees and dealing with the Department of Social Security if necessary. This is a great option if you don’t feel comfortable taking on your relative’s financial responsibility, and we can report to you regularly so you are always fully aware of any decisions or payments we have made on their behalf.
We can also help you to organise:
- A Lasting Power of Attorney
- Any other relevant and important legal documents
- Court of protection applications
What is a Power of Attorney for?
There are many different types of Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows one person to make decisions on another person’s behalf, which is typically arranged when you have concerns about an elderly parent or relative and their ability to make decisions for themselves either temporarily or in the future.
If you appoint someone as an attorney, this person is then able to make important decisions regarding the elderly person’s finances and property based on their best interests.
What is an Ordinary Power of Attorney?
An Ordinary Power of Attorney only allows another person to act on your behalf for a limited period of time, meaning if you were to lose mental capacity the document would then expire. This is a suitable short term option if you or your elderly relative only require temporary assistance.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Lasting Power of Attorney is the most common form of Power of Attorney and is an ongoing arrangement that has no expiry date, allowing another person to make decisions on your behalf.
The document is very straightforward to set up, and is also fairly inexpensive. Its purpose is to cope with any problems that may arise that could result in your aging relative or parent becoming unable to manage their own finances.
A Lasting Power of Attorney needs to be set up while the elderly relative involved still has mental capacity. Once the document is registered, it can be used immediately with your permission either while you still have mental capacity, or it can take effect if/when this deteriorates in the future.
What types of Lasting Power of Attorney are there?
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney which should both be set up at the same time when discussing taking care of an elderly relative's finances and property.
1. Health and Welfare LPA - this consists of giving your attorney permission to make decisions about:
- Medical care
- Life-sustaining medical treatment
- Moving into a care home
- Your daily routine (dressing, eating, washing etc)
2. Property and Financial Affairs LPA - this lets your attorney make decisions regarding your money and property including:
- Paying any bills
- Collecting benefits or a pension
- Selling your property
- Managing bank and building society accounts
When should I arrange a Power of Attorney?
It’s important to discuss this with your elderly relative at a time you feel is right, preferably prior to them losing any mental capacity, as they need to give the matter their full consideration.
If this wasn’t arranged in time, or if your relative has suffered a sudden impact on their mental health, then there are ways this can be dealt with. You will need to speak to a legal representative about this in further detail, as this will involve a court of protection application; at JMW, we are highly skilled in this area and are able to help you.
Talk to Us
To find out more about how we can help you effectively manage your loved one’s finances and property, contact our specialist solicitors today by calling 0345 872 6666, or fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back.