An estimated 850,000 people have dementia in the UK according to the Alzheimer’s Society. Brain injuries or mental health problems can also affect the ability of someone making their own decisions with 17,000 younger people in the UK with dementia. By 2021 there will be over 1 million people with dementia.
It is important to put the right arrangements in place early, so that if it ever happens, we can rest assured that someone who we trust and who cares for us can make those important decisions on our behalf.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney allows an individual to appoint a person of their choice (the attorney) to look after their affairs at a time when they are no longer able to make decisions and be able to manage their affairs themselves.
There are two types of lasting power of attorney that can be created:
For Property and Affairs: – this will give the attorney the ability to make decisions on behalf of the person seeking help ( donor) concerning the payment of bills, liaising with banks and dealing with pensions, benefits and also the selling of property.
For Health and Welfare: – the attorney can make decisions on where to live day to day care which may include diet and what to wear. The attorney can also make key decisions on whether to accept or refuse life-sustaining treatment.
Why do I need one?
In the event that someone suffers from an injury, have a serious accident or be at a stage in life when their mental ability has been affected, without a lasting power of attorney in place, a relative or someone close would have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order.
This is a very lengthy and costly process with the applicant having to provide very personal information about them, their family; their finances and their relationship with the person that they now wish to look after. The whole process can take from 12 weeks to 10 months. This may have quite an adverse effect on the finances of the person who is seeking help for a power of attorney UK. The number of people with dementia seems to vary depending where in the country they live. There is a very useful map on the Alzheimer’s website to show that certain areas do have a high concentration of sufferers. Applications for power of attorney London seems to be fewer than other counties.
At SCL Wills and Probate we understand the difficulties in dealing with the issues of mental capacity and have a committed team in place to advise our clients and to help applying for power of attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian and the Court of Protection.
Call 0203 004 8289 or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation. We have offices in London Temple, Potters Bar Hertfordshire and Bedford and Luton.