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Planning for the future

Getting organised now means you can feel confident that the care and support you receive in the future will be right for you, and your affairs will be managed in the way you wish.

Your legal affairs

There are certain things you can do to sort your legal affairs that could make a real difference down the line.

  1. You may want to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This lets you appoint someone you trust as an 'attorney' to make decisions for you when you're no longer able to do so. Our Power of attorney page has more information on this. 
  2. If you don't have a will, set one up as soon as possible. And if you do, check it to make sure it still reflects your wishes.
  3. You can set up an advance statement to explain your preferences and how you would like to be looked after and cared for. For example, you can specify what kind of food you like to eat, what sort of music you like to listen to, how your spiritual needs should be met, or anything else you think is important for people to know about how you want to be supported.
  4. An advance decision lets you say which types of medical treatment you would not want in certain situations. This will only be used if you lose the ability to make or communicate the decision yourself. It will make sure you aren't given medical treatment that you don’t want.
  5. An Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) will be appointed to help you, if in the future you can't make certain important decisions yourself and have no-one to speak up for you. They would be involved in decisions about things like serious medical treatment or where you live. 

Your financial affairs

It's important to make sure your finances are in order.

  1. When dealing with your finances, start by making sure you know where important documents are, such as your mortgage or tenancy agreement, insurance policies, and bank statements.
  2. Paying your bills by direct debit means you won't forget to pay, as the money will automatically be paid from your account. Look on paper bills for details of how to do this. Paper bills will also allow you to ensure you’re paying what you should. However, some people find that online banking makes things easier. It saves trips to the bank and allows you to do most things from home.
  3. A joint account is a useful way to get help managing your finances. It means you can add the name of a friend or relative to your bank account which means they have access to your money if necessary. 
  4. You could set up a third-party mandate, giving someone permission to manage your bank account(s). You should think carefully and make sure you choose someone you trust, as they will have access to your finances.
  5. If there comes a time when you can't manage your benefits, someone else can do it for you. You can apply for a friend, relative or other representative to become your 'appointee' and deal with your benefits and State Pension on your behalf.

For more information call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 678 1602.
We’re open 8am to 7pm, every day of the year.

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Last updated: Apr 20 2021

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