This week we’ve seen Dementia Awareness Week supporting people worried about dementia. It’s asked them to confront their concerns and get in touch with the Alzheimer’s Society.
A recent study by the Alzheimer’s Society shows dementia is one of the most feared health conditions in the UK. Almost two-thirds of people surveyed felt a diagnosis would mean their life is over. The Alzheimer’s Society wants people to confront dementia head on.
A diagnosis of dementia means it’s important to put financial affairs in order quickly.
We recommend everyone who is over eighteen to make a Will. Most people have something to leave and making a Will is the best way of ensuring your wishes are followed. A diagnosis of dementia doesn’t mean you can’t make a Will. However you will probably need medical evidence to support it.
If someone still has mental capacity they should also make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This lets them choose who can make decisions for them if they become unable. There are two different types of LPA. One covers decisions about health and welfare. The other covers decisions about property and finances. Anyone over the age of eighteen, who has mental capacity, can make an LPA. There can be difficulties for family and friends if an LPA isn’t in place when someone loses capacity. An application for a Court Order will have to be made. This can take three times as long and cost three times as much. Importantly, it will be up to the Court to choose who makes decisions. An LPA gives you the power to do this.
The Court of Protection’s role is to protect people who lack mental capacity. We’ve worked closely with the Court for years.
Speak with our experienced team of solicitors. We’ll help you put plans in place to safeguard your finances and welfare. Please don’t hesitate to call us on 0175 321 6399.
By Sarah Masters, Trainee Solicitor