Dementia legal considerations
If the person with dementia is no longer considered able to make important decisions about things like their finances, health or welfare, this is often referred to as lacking mental capacity. If this is the case, someone else will need to be given legal powers to make decisions on their behalf, usually a family member or friend. This person will need to apply to the Court of Protection to become a deputy, which will enable them to make these decisions on behalf of the person who lacks mental capacity. This can be a complex process and it’s always recommended that you seek legal advice from solicitors specialising in dementia, who understand the process.
However, if the person with dementia is still able to make these decisions for themselves, but know that they won’t always be, they can register someone (or several people) to have lasting power of attorney, which means that there will be someone in place to make important decisions in their best interests, when they are no longer able to do so themselves. Again, it is recommended that you have legal support from solicitors experienced in dementia in order to successfully register a lasting power of attorney.
There are different types of lasting power of attorney (LPA), with different powers, which can be registered to the same person (or people) or individually. These are:
Property and financial affairs LPA
This type of LPA will give the person or people named on it the authority to make decisions that relate to the individual’s personal finances or properties owned. This could be selling a property, paying bills, managing a bank account or collecting benefits or a pension. If an LPA is in place (registered with the Office of the Public Guardian) then it can be used, with the permission of the individual, even if they still have mental capacity to make those decisions themselves.
Health and welfare LPA
This type of LPA gives the registered person or people the authority to make decisions on behalf of the individual concerning things like their medical care, moving into a care home, whether to use life-sustaining treatment if they fall ill and their daily care routine, like washing, eating and dressing. This type of LPA can only be used once registered and if the individual no longer has the mental capacity to make their own decision.
Help with registering an LPA or Court of Protection deputyship
To ensure that you receive expert advice before registering an LPA, or if you want to become a Court of Protection deputy, so that you can make important decisions on behalf of someone with dementia, you can speak to a dementia-friendly solicitor like Stephensons. Our experienced and empathic team have years of experience in dealing with the necessary forms and legalese and understand that this process often comes hand-in-hand with a great deal of emotional stress and worry. We’re ideally placed to offer all of the advice and support to help this process go as smoothly and quickly as possible. Get in touch today to find out more on 0161 696 6238.
The advice provided to non-face to face clients will be through electronic or written communication only e.g. by telephone and email. Stephensons Solicitors LLP assumes no responsibility for, and shall not be liable for, (a) verification of mental capacity or testamentary capacity (b) verification of any undue influence or duress involved (c) the execution of any documents.