Last updated:

14th July 2023

If you can't make your own decisions

Choosing someone to make decisions on your behalf

Circumstances might mean you can't make your own decisions.

This can be temporary. For example, judgement might be affected by medication, drugs or alcohol or mental illness.

Or this might be permanent. For example, dementia, a brain injury or learning disability.

Choosing someone to make decisions

If you: 

  • Don't want make your own decisions or
  • You're no longer going to be able to in the future

You can give someone you trust authority to make their decisions for. This is called a Lasting Power of Attorney and is a legal document.

There are two types: 

  • For property and financial decisions e.g. paying bills, selling property and can be used when you still have the ability to make decisions
  • For health and care decisions e.g. medical care, where you live and can only be used when you have lost the ability to make decisions

You can request details of your income and what has been spent. If you lose capacity these details can be sent to your solicitor or a family member.

What happens to your benefits

If you can't manage your own affairs because you’re mentally incapable or severely disabled someone can act on your behalf to help claim your benefits. 

This can be a relative or a friend or a professional e.g. a solicitor or local council. This person can only help with benefits and does not have any powers in respect of your bank accounts or private pensions.

Support services

The services below can give help and support:

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