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Appointees, Advocacy and Lasting Power of Attorney

In certain cases where elderly persons are no longer mentally capable of making decisions about their financial situation or their health and welfare, it is important to ensure that they appoint someone to manage their affairs.  

Appointees, Advocacy and Lasting Power of Attorney
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Practical information

> Appointees

Elderly persons receiving social security benefits, if unable to manage their own affairs, may be appointed, by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a person to make claims and receive benefits on their behalf. This may be a friend or family member, but could also be someone from the outside.

> Advocacy

In some cases where an elderly person must enter a care home, but are unable to express their views or make decisions, an advocate outside of their circle of friends and family may be appointed to manage their needs. Advocacy “schemes” may be run by Local Councils or local voluntary organisations.

> Lasting Power of Attorney

In the 2005 Mental Capacity Act the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) replaced the Enduring Power of Attorney. The LPA allows the elder person to choose someone to make financial, property-related, health and welfare decisions for them.

> Rights to protection and advocacy

If an elderly person lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves, it is important that those close to the individual work on the "best interest" standard set out in the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and with the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (2009).

In a case where an elderly person has no close friends or family members, a Local Council may appoint an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) to work on their behalf.

Questions and answers

Who can grant Lasting Power of Attorney?Show

The Lasting Power of Attorney is granted when a notice to inform ‘people who need to be told’ (found in the registration form) is posted, and then is followed by formal registration is submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian.  The process usually takes upwards of two months.

What are the obligations of the appointed person?Show

The appointed person is responsible for taking decisions on the elderly person's behalf.  It is important that the chosen person has been able to manage their own affairs/finances, is known and trusted by the elderly, and that the person is willing to take on the role. 

What is Lasting Power of Attorney?Show

A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that lets an individual appoint someone to make decisions on their behalf, and is used when someone is no longer able to make their own decisions about health and welfare or their finances.

Who can be granted Lasting Power of Attorney?Show

The individual can be anyone who is 18 or over, and usually a relative, a friend, a professional (like a solicitor), or your husband, wife or partner.


Mental Capacity Act (2005)Show

The main role of the Act is to provide a legal framework for acting and making decisions on behalf of persons over 18 who lack the capacity to make particular decisions for themselves.  One of the key components of the act is the notion of acting in the “best interests” of the person concerned.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (2009)Show

The safeguards are designed to protect the interests vulnerable people by ensuring that elderly who are mentally incapacitated (for example by Alzheimer's disease) can receive the care they need, avoid decisions that may deprive them of their liberty, provide safeguards, the ability to challenge unlawful detention, and in general make their lives easier.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)Show

The IMCA helps elderly people who do not have the capacity to make decisions about medical treatment or type of care home, and who do not have family or friends to help them to make decisions.  An IMCA will support people and represent to their best ability the “best interest” of that individual when decisions need to be made.

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