The taxing subject of dementia

Dementia and LPADementia and Lasting Power of Attorney

The subjects of dementia and social care became keys areas of debate in the latter stages of the recent general election campaign. Dementia is a horrible and progressive disease that can put a huge strain on spouses and close family members.

Dementia became a hot topic because although many people are living longer, the quality of life might not be all that it was. Many people with dementia will eventually reach a point when they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. This is known as lacking mental capacity. Long before this point arrives, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) will need to be drawn up. This enables decisions about finances and health & welfare to be made for a person and in that person’s best interest.

Without getting too technical, an LPA is a tool that gives another adult the legal authority to make certain decisions for another person, if they are unable to make them for themselves. The person given this authority is called an ‘attorney’. They can manage finances, or make decisions relating to health and welfare.

Dementia and Advance Care Planning

Following dementia diagnosis, and a chance to reflect, discussions with family often take place. It can be helpful to map out what will happen next to make the person with dementia comfortable and re-asured.

Lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) let you choose a person (or people) you trust to act for you. You choose the decisions they make for you.

There are two different types of LPA. One of them covers decisions about your property and finances, and the other covers decisions about your health and welfare. You can choose to make both types or just one. You can appoint the same person to be your attorney for both, or you can have different attorneys.

An LPA can only be used after it has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG is responsible for the registration of LPAs.

The benefits of making an LPA are that:

  • the person you want to make decisions for you will be able to do so. This prevents a stranger, or someone you may not trust, from having this power.
  • an LPA will make things easier for your family and friends in future. It will be more expensive, difficult and time-consuming for them to get the authority to act on your behalf when you are not able to give it.
  • it can start discussions with your family or others about what you want to happen in future eg Wills.

We can help you to understand the suitable next steps if you know someone with a recent dementia diagnosis. We have the expertise and service to be of assistance.

Contact Mitchell Lucke or call 01252 904822