Managing money for someone else

Banks should make adjustments to help meet a disabled person’s needs. These could include:

  • changing their communication style
  • quiet meeting spaces
  • bank accounts without an overdraft
  • appointments to avoid queues

All banks should also help if a disabled person is being financially abused.

Talking to the bank

Talking to someone at your bank is usually the best way to help them to understand what your son or daughter needs. For example, how they communicate or why they need adjustments such as quiet meeting spaces.

This could be an appointment in a branch, talking on the phone or text chat online. Explain what you would like to talk about.

If your bank cannot help

Ask if there's anyone else you can speak to or if there is a process for more complicated cases. If that does not work, making a formal complaint is often the fastest and easiest way to help to get the support that they need. Say:

  • what your child needs and why
  • how the bank can support them to manage their money

If your child is under 18

Your child's bank should let you monitor their account if they can verify your identity. The account should have no overdraft or fees.

Training to manage money

Ask your bank if they provide training on how to manage money. You may need to travel for this.

Learn about money (Dosh)

Accounts with no overdraft or fees

Your adult son or daughter's bank should be able to offer a limited kind of account that could help them take on more responsibility in a safer way.

These accounts normally have no fees or overdraft.

If your son or daughter is turning 18

Ask for a review with the bank to see which account would be best for your son or daughter. Ask for an account with no overdraft or fees if that is what your child wants.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse includes:

  • stealing by a partner, friend or carer
  • scams

The bank should have people who can help if someone financially abuses your child. Ask your bank how it manages customer protection.

Financial abuse is a crime. Report it to the police.

Find your local Trading Standards office (GOV.UK)

Protecting against financial abuse (Money Advice Service)

How to spot an email Scam (Which)

Monitoring an account (third party mandate)

A third party mandate lets you monitor or manage someone else's bank account. It is useful when your son or daughter is both:

  • over 18
  • can make decisions but needs support 

All banks should offer this. But you need permission from your son or daughter to get a third party mandate.

You cannot transfer a third party mandate to another account or bank.

A third party mandate does not give you the legal right to make decisions about your child's finances.

The right to make decisions for someone else

How you can do this will depend on if your son or daughter can make decisions for themselves. The law calls this 'mental capacity'.

If your child does not have mental capacity, the Court of Protection could give you this right.

A power of attorney cannot give you the right to make decisions for your child if they do not have mental capacity now. It could give you the might to make decisions for your child in the future if their condition changes and they then do not have mental capacity. 

The Court of Protection could make you a Deputy

You could get the legal right to make decisions for your child if they cannot make their own decisions.

Apply to the Court of Protection (GOV.UK).

The Court will decide if your child has mental capacity. If your child does not, they will decide if you should have the right to manage your child's finances.

Power of attorney

This is only useful if your son or daughter is over 18 and has mental capacity. A power of attorney could give you the right to make decisions for them if they then lost mental capacity.

Managing benefits

Becoming an appointee would give you the right to make decisions about benefits for your son or daughter. This could help you to support your child while they learn to make more decisions for themselves.

Become an appointee for someone claiming benefits (GOV.UK)

Warning Before your child turns 16

Contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to tell them that you want to become your child's appointee. Do this before your child turns 16.

Last reviewed by Scope on: 01/10/2019

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