Posted on 2.9.16 by Tasoula Addison
NHS figures show that Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, it affects around 850,000 people in the UK. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition, meaning the symptoms develop gradually and become more severe over the course of several years. The first sign of the disease is usually slight memory problems, this can include forgetting recent conversations or events, and failure to recall the names of places and objects. As the condition progresses, memory problems become more severe.
Receiving a diagnosis of dementia can be a difficult and emotional time. It can be hard to come to terms with it and know what to do next. Some people might even feel a sense of relief from knowing what is wrong and what steps to take. One thing you might want to consider after a diagnosis of dementia, is planning for the future; your wishes and what you want to happen to your estate.
A will allows you to choose who inherits your money and possessions. You can still make or change a will after receiving a diagnosis of dementia, as long as you can show that you comprehend the decisions you are making, and the effects that any changes will have. A solicitor can help with making or updating your will.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a separate document to your Will, and permits someone with dementia to give someone they trust, otherwise known as the attorney, the authority to make particular decisions on their behalf, during their lifetime. This is commonly a family member or close friend, and all decisions made by the attorney must be in your best interest, so make sure you pick someone you absolutely trust. There are two different types of Lasting Power of attorney:
Health and Welfare LPA: The attorney can make decisions about your healthcare, for example your medical treatment, and welfare. These powers can only be used if you can no longer make them for yourself.
Property and affairs LPA: The attorney has the control to manage your money, property and affairs for you. This might include paying bills, collecting income and benefits, accessing bank accounts and maybe even selling your property.
The attorney you choose will not automatically be given control when the LPA is made, for it to be used it first needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Garden. Your attorney can only make decisions on your behalf once the LPA has been registered, and when they can act may be subject to how the LPA has been set up.
If you want to set up an LPA you will need to have the mental capacity to do so. A solicitor can help to set it up for you.
If you would like to speak to a member of our team about planning for your future and making a Will or a Lasting Power of Attorney, contact the Wills, Trusts and Probate team on 0343 507 5151, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our online contact form and we will get back in touch for a confidential discussion.