Planning for the future
There are things you can do now which can make life easier in the future. Sorting your legal and financial affairs will leave you confident they will be dealt with in the way you want.
How can I sort my legal affairs?
There are certain things you can do to sort your legal affairs that could make a real difference down the line.
- Think about setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) so that you can appoint someone you trust to make decisions for you when you're no longer able to do so.
- An up to date will that reflects your wishes is important.
- 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.
- An advance statement which sets out some lifestyle choices you want to continue, such as what foods you want to eat and what music you want to listen to.
- 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.
See our page Advance decisions for more information.
How can I keep my financial affairs in order?
It's important to make sure your finances are in order.
- Know where important documents are, such as your mortgage or tenancy agreement, insurance policies, and bank statements.
- Setting up a direct debit means you can pay your bills directly from your account, this way you'll never miss a payment. The details of how to do this will be on your bill.
- A joint account 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.
- A third-party mandate can give someone permission to manage your bank account on your behalf.
- Get someone to manage your benefits if there comes a time you can't do this yourself. They should contact the Department of Work and Pensions and explain the situation.
Most joint accounts and third-party mandates will only operate when both people have the mental capacity to run the account.
When allowing someone to access your finances, make sure you choose someone you trust. See our guide Protecting yourself (PDF 508 KB) for more information.