Latest figures reveal that dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales.
The onset of dementia is a distressing time for all involved and for many it leads to a crash course in the legal complexities of dealing with someone else’s personal and financial affairs.
If someone is judged to have lost ‘mental capacity’ there are strict rules about things such as accessing their money or discussing their care.
Even a husband or wife may be unable to access jointly held bank accounts or assets - and they will then have to go through a long process to be appointed ‘a Deputy’ by the Court of Protection.
It is possible to avoid this problem by setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This allows you to pre-authorise someone to act for you should you be unable to manage your affairs.
Instructing a lawyer to assist you with the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney provides you with not only a valuable discussion of varying issues that can arise, the lawyer can also ensure their client understands the full implications of completing difficult documents, providing valuable reassurance without pressure or concern of fraud taking place.
There are two types of LPA: Property & Financial Affairs, which covers finances or assets; and Health and Welfare, which relates to your care and decisions around it if you cannot decide for yourself.
Anyone aged 18 or over can create LPAs, but by law you have to make the arrangements while you have the mental capacity to do so. In other words, do it now while you can.
Please contact us should you want more information relating to Lasting Powers of Attorney. Please also consider making Lasting Powers of Attorney even if you feel you are too young to do so. No-one knows when such valuable legal documents may be needed, and I’m sure parents, at whatever age they are, would want their children to have peace in mind when dealing with financial affairs, as well as health and welfare.
- Preparing and Registering a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Preparing and Registering a Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Help for dependents of people without Lasting Powers of Attorney
- General (Ordinary) Powers of Attorney
- Advice re existing Enduring Powers of Attorney and Registration of existing Enduring Powers of Attorney
- Obtaining mental capacity reports where appropriate
Providing advice where it is not possible to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney due to lack of capacity
- Advice re duties and powers of Attorneys
- Advice re disputes relating to Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Applications to the Court of Protection including Deputyship applications
“If it had not been for the EPA I would have had real problems even discussing my mother’s affairs with banks, investment companies, government departments and care providers, much less paying her bills from her account.
“Being able to supply copies of the EPA to the various parties meant they would speak to me and act on my instructions. Without it I would have had to pursue a long, complicated and expensive legal process – at a very difficult time personally.
“I would absolutely recommend planning ahead and making an LPA. It could make a huge difference to your loved ones.”