Around 800,000 people in the UK suffer from Dementia
Sufferers of Dementia cost the economy £23 billion every year and account for a quarter of beds occupied in hospital. The number is expected to double by 2040 and the costs are likely to treble.
If you lose capacity to make certain decisions for yourself, there may come a time when no-one will be able to do this for you as they will lack the legal power to act on your behalf. This can make paying bills, including care fees, difficult, as well as making decisions about which medical treatment you receive. This can be very stressful for your family or loved ones.
If this happens, someone will need to apply to the Court of Protection to become your Deputy. This gives them similar powers to that of an attorney. A relative or trusted friend can apply to be your Deputy. In some cases you may wish a professional to be appointed. The process of becoming a Deputy is far more time-consuming, and much more expensive, than making a Lasting Power of Attorney. There are also on-going requirements for a Deputy such as paying an annual fee and submitting annual reports so it is easier for someone to act as an attorney than a Deputy.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal tool allowing you to appoint someone you trust to make certain decisions on your behalf. That person will be able to manage your finances for you if you lack capacity and are no longer able to make those decisions for yourself. They can also make decisions relating to your health and personal welfare.
By making an LPA you will have the peace of mind and can reduce problems that may occur in the future. You will also prevent strangers, or someone you do not trust, from making important decisions about your health or finances.
With a health and welfare LPA, your attorney will not be able to make decisions unless you have lost capacity to make those decisions for yourself. This is different for the property and affairs LPA.
You can have your attorney help manage your money whilst you still have capacity without actually having them take over from you as you will both have authority to act. It will be your choice.
It is a misconception that only elderly people need an LPA.
Mental illness does not respect age and can strike at any time. You may also lose capacity through an unfortunate accident. Having an LPA in place is a small price to pay for the peace of mind of knowing your financial affairs will be kept in order
Sorting an LPA is like arranging an overdraft. It needs to be done before you need it. No-one can do it for you so you need to do it while you are still capable.
Contact Barnet Wills and make setting up your LPA a relaxed experience.