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Planning your finances

When might you need financial advice?

How can you get financial advice?

Free financial advice

Independent financial advice

Lasting Power of Attorney

Deputyship

 

When might you need financial advice?

You need advice when you are thinking about how to:

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How can you get financial advice?

There are two ways of finding financial advice. You can:

  • gather your own general information available from banks, building societies, adverts or online. This advice is usually available for free.  You then have to think about the options and make your own decisions.
  • seek independent financial advice from an organisation or advisor either over the telephone or face to face. This advice is tailored to you as the advisor will assess your personal circumstances before recommending financial products that are suitable for you. There is usually a charge for this advice.

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Free financial advice

Money Advice Service offers free unbiased independent advice. They have a free telephone helpline and a wide range of resources available online. Search for: how to get the most of out your money, managing debt, borrowing money and investing your money.

Tax Help for Older People provides free, independent, help and advice for older people on low incomes who cannot afford to pay for professional tax advice.

PayingForCare is a national information and advice website, helping older people make informed choices about paying for care. The service is impartial, not for profit and free to use. They provide:

  • online chat advice
  • telephone advice
  • a care calculator to find out how much you may need to pay for care services
  • search facility to find specialist care fees advisors in your area

They also provide older people with a monthly legal surgery using a qualified solicitor to help with any legal needs and a monthly surgery on pensions. Appointments need to be made in advance.

FirstStop Advice is a free online service to help consider your housing options.  Answer a series of questions and receive a tailored report. You can also book a telephone call.

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Independent financial advice

Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) are the only type of financial advisers who can give you detailed personal advice on different financial products that are available and which they think suit your needs best. You usually need to pay for this detailed advice.  Check your financial advisor is registered to safeguard your money.

Independent financial Advisers (IFAs) must have the following:

  • level 4 or above of the national Qualifications and Credit Framework
  • a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS). This means they have signed up to a code of ethics and have completed at least 35 hours of professional training each year
  • registration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They regulate the financial services industry in the UK and have a Financial Services Register. This means that they must meet certain standards and you can complain to the Financial Service Ombudsman.

How to find an Independent Financial Adviser (IFAs) in your area

  • Society of Later Life Advisers has a website where you can find of ‘accredited later life advisers’. They have specialist skills in advising older people on issues such as, equity release and long-term care.
  • Unbiased is a website where you can find independent financial advisers, mortgage advisers, accountants or solicitors in your local area.
  • VouchedFor shows you customer ratings for a service or adviser. Advisers are rated on the type of advice they specialise in such as, mid-life, pre-retirement and retirement. You can also view their qualifications and registration.

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Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a way of planning for a time when you may lose the mental capacity to manage your own finances or make decisions about your personal welfare. It must be arranged while you still have your mental capacity.

It is a legal arrangement where you officially give a named person, such as a trusted friend or family member the power to make decisions about your financial affairs. This person becomes your 'attorney'. It can be used while you still have mental capacity and your attorney can make decisions on things such as:

  • money, tax and bills
  • bank and building society accounts
  • property and investments
  • pensions and benefits

There are two types of LPA:

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Property and affairs

This gives the attorney the authority to make decisions about your financial affairs. This can be used while you still have mental capacity and your attorney can generally make decisions on things such as:

  • money, tax and bills
  • bank and building society accounts
  • property and investments
  • pensions and benefits

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Health and welfare attorney

Your health and welfare attorney can make (or help you make) decisions about things like your:

  • daily routine. For example washing, dressing and eating
  • medical care
  • where you live

Your attorney must ask for money from the person or bank in charge of your funds. They might need to spend your money on things that maintain or improve your quality of life. This can include:

  • new clothes or hairdressing
  • decorating their home or room in a care home
  • paying for extra support so you can go out more. For example to visit friends or relatives or to go on holiday

Medical treatment – as long as there is no restriction on your powers under the LPA, you can consent to, or refuse, medical treatment on behalf of the donor.

Life-sustaining medical treatment – you cannot refuse life-sustaining treatment on behalf of the donor unless they specifically authorised you to do so. The donor must have signed section 5 of the LPA form (LP1H) giving their consent for you to make such decisions.   If you make a decision on life-sustaining treatment, you must not be motivated by a desire to bring about the donor’s death. The decision must always be made in their best interests.

 
How to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney

You can get the forms from the Office of the Public Guardian or you can instruct a solicitor to prepare one for you. The completed forms must then be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian  before it can be used.
 

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Deputyship

As a deputy, you are authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of someone else who ‘lacks mental capacity’. This means they can't make a decision at the time when it needs to be made.  They may lack mental capacity because they have:

  • had a serious brain injury or illness
  • dementia
  • severe learning disabilities 

There are 2 types of deputy.

  • Property and financial affairs deputy: where you do things like pay the person’s bills or organise their pension.
     
  • Personal welfare deputy: where you make decisions about medical treatment and how someone is looked after.

You can apply to become someone’s deputy from the Court of Protection.

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Did you know?

Did you know that Gov.UK has further information on Lasting Power of Attorney and other important life events.

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