How lasting powers of attorney can help dementia sufferers
By Maplebrook Wills
12th Apr '19
Powers of Attorney
The number of people in the UK living with dementia is set to double. By 2051, 2 million people will have the condition, which can’t be cured or slowed down.
The likelihood of dementia increases as you get older, with one in 14 people over the age of 65 affected.
If you have dementia, you may find yourself in the unfortunate situation of losing mental capacity. That’s why lasting power of attorney (LPA) forms are useful things to have.
What do lasting powers of attorney do?
Lasting powers of attorney allow a trusted family member or friend to help you by making decisions on your behalf. Those trusted people are known as ‘attorneys’.
There are two types of LPAs – one that covers your health and welfare and other for financial matters.
Health decisions include medical treatment, diet and the kind of care you receive – all made by the attorney in your best interests.
The property and financial affairs LPA enables attorneys to make decisions about money, tax and bills. It gives them the legal right to use your money to look after your home and pay for your food and other day to day items.
The crucial thing to know about LPAs is that they’re registered with the Government. And they can only be registered while you still have mental capacity.
Peace of mind
That’s why Maplebrook Wills advises anyone with adult children to get LPAs. That way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that people you trust will be able to provide help should you need it.
If you don’t have adult children, it’s still worth getting an LPA if you have a high-risk occupation or there’s a genetic disease in your family. In that case, your attorney could be a trusted friend or a professional.
If you’re in your 20s or older, it’s worth talking to your parents about LPAs. If anything should happen to them, you could end up paying for their care if you don’t have an LPA giving you the legal right to use their money.
Maplebrook Wills can provide LPA forms and ensure that they’re signed by you and your attorneys. Once signed, they’re submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), a government department.
It then takes around three months before the registered LPAs forms come back from the OPG.