Money matters - Dealing with someone else's money or benefits
If someone is unwell they might need help from you with their money or benefits. This section explains the options for you to help with a person’s money or benefits.
In this section, we refer to the person who needs help as ‘your relative’ and to you as ‘their carer.’ But we understand that you may not be a relative. In this section we will call banks, building societies, credit unions and similar organisations ‘financial institutions’.
- You can only deal with someone else’s money or benefits if you have their written permission or a proper legal authority.
- Before you deal with your relative’s finances, organisations will want to see ‘identification and verification’ (ID&V) for you.
- Your relative can sign a ‘third party authority’ so you can deal with their bank account.
- If your relative needs help claiming or collecting benefits you could become their ‘Appointee’.
- Your relative can make a ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’ so you can deal with their finances. This carries on if they become mentally incapable.
- Your relative can make a ‘General Power of Attorney’ so you can deal with their finances. This would end if they become mentally incapable.
- Your relative might lack the mental capacity to make a Lasting Power of Attorney. In this case you can apply to the Court of Protection to become their ‘Deputy’.
- If your relative becomes mentally incapable their bank might agree to pay urgent bills from their account.Your relative might be in
- debt or unable to pay all their bills.
We know that money and mental health problems often go hand in hand. That’s why Rethink Mental Illness, as part of Mental Health UK, have set up a new website. It will help you understand, manage and improve your mental and financial health. You can find a wide range of information to help you with your benefits.