Dementia affects around 10% of over 65’s throughout the world. As dementia progresses people lose the ability (or mental capacity) to make decisions along with a number of other symptoms. Many people will know someone who has Alzheimer’s, the commonest form of dementia.
Often people believe there is an automatic right for their spouse or children to deal with their property or bank accounts if they are unable to do so. This is simply not the case. When mental capacity is lost there are 2 options. A Deputyship or a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). An LPA is where you nominate someone to look after your affairs in advance. You apply to the Court of Protection after you have lost capacity to set up a Deputyship.
It is always a better option to set up an LPA in advance. Then should anything happen in the future a person of your choice can look after your finances, your property and, if required, your health and welfare. An attorney can be a family member, friend or a professional person.
There are two types of LPA
- A property and financial affairs LPAs are for decisions about finances. This includes as selling your home and managing your bank accounts and investments.
- A health and welfare LPAs are for decisions about your health and personal welfare, such as choosing where to live i.e. your home or residential care, daily needs or having medical treatment.
Of course, dementia is not the only reason for loosing mental capacity, a stroke, mental health illness, brain injury, sudden accident, substance or alcohol misuse can all be factors. Its never to early to set up an LPA, however you should review them regularly.
Druitts offer a fixed fee service for preparing a Lasting Powers of Attorney (both finance and welfare), apply to the Court of Protection, or can provide Deputy Services. Please contact Teresa Williamson or Laura Neerunjun who would be pleased to help you.