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Managing someone's affairs

Some carers may want to help manage the affairs of the person they are looking after, or may want to know how to plan for doing this in the future.

There are different ways of managing someone’s affairs depending on whether the person you are looking after can currently make decisions for themselves (which is called having mental capacity) or whether they are unable to make decisions for themselves (which is called lacking mental capacity).

This information in this section applies if the person you are looking after is aged 16 or over (unless otherwise specified).


The information on managing someone’s affairs can vary depending on whether you live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Each page in this section explains which nation(s) it covers.

In Northern Ireland there has been no single piece of legislation dealing with mental capacity and managing affairs, and instead there was a variety of different Orders covering these topics. The Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 has now been introduced, which brings together all of the different Orders surrounding mental capacity and managing someone’s affairs, however this Act has not yet been implemented, and so this webpage will be updated when it has been implemented. For now, contact Carers NI for further information on 028 9043 9843 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


  • Mental capacity in England and Wales

    The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides the legal framework for making decisions on behalf of people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions themselves.


  • Different ways of managing someone’s affairs in England and Wales

    There are different ways of managing someone’s affairs depending on whether the person you are looking after can currently make their own decisions or whether they are unable to make their own decisions.


  • Mental capacity in Scotland

    The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 provides the legal framework for making decisions on behalf of people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions themselves.


  • Different ways of managing someone’s affairs in Scotland

    There are different ways of managing someone’s affairs depending on whether the person you are looking after can currently make their own decisions or whether they are unable to make their own decisions.

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