“There are around 850,000 people living with Dementia in the UK. This is predicted to rise to over 2 million by the year 2051.” – Alzheimer’s Society
The above figures speak for themselves. Dementia effects many people in this country and numbers are expected to rise. With that in mind, it is very important that people ensure they put legal protection in place whilst they still have the capacity to do so.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to act on your behalf should you be unwilling or become mentally incapable to do so. You may wish to appoint a relative, friend or a professional to act as your Attorney/s.
There are two types of LPA; -
• Property and Financial Affairs - This covers things such as managing your bank accounts, bills and your property.
• Health and Welfare - This covers where you live and any medical treatment you receive. It also allows you to make provisions for decisions about any life sustaining treatment.
When can the Lasting Power of Attorney be used?
The LPA will only be valid once it has been signed by all parties and then registered with the Court, known as the Office of the Public Guardian. The Property and Finance LPA can be used when you have capacity, as well as should you lose capacity. The Health and Welfare LPA can only be used should you lose mental capacity.
What happens if I don’t make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Without a Power of Attorney in place, an application to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order may be required. This can be a very lengthy and expensive process which may result in someone you would not wish being placed in charge of your affairs.
I’ve just been diagnosed with dementia – can I still make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
In short, yes. A diagnosis of dementia does not mean you have lost capacity to make decisions. Should you or a loved one receive a diagnosis we would advise you to contact us as soon as possible to ensure a LPA can be put in place.
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