Paying for care: Acting on someone else's behalf

If you lose capacity and don't have a Power of Attorney

You might assume that a spouse, civil partner or close family member would automatically be able to deal with your money and make decisions for you if you lose the ability to make these decisions yourself.

This is not the case.

If you lose the capacity to make your own decisions and you don't have a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney, anyone who wishes to make an important decision on your behalf must apply to the Court of Protection.

They can apply for a one-off order from the court if they wish to make a single important decision for you, or they can apply to become your deputy.

A deputy is authorised by the Court of Protection to make certain decisions for you.  

A deputy is usually a family member or someone who knows you well.

They must make sure decisions are made in your best interests.

You can't choose your own deputy and the process of appointing one can be lengthy and costly.

You can find more information about this at GOV.UK: Become a Deputy, or you can get advice from a solicitor.

If you want to make sure a person you trust can make decisions for you if you can't make them yourself in the future, you should consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney while you can.