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Press enquiries

For press enquiries please contact:

Felicity McClintock

T: 01242 514000
E:
 felicity.mcclintock@willans.co.uk

Dementia Awareness Week 2017 – Why create a lasting power of attorney?

Dementia Awareness Week 2017 runs from 14 May – 20 May. This yearly campaign, run by the Alzheimer’s Society, seeks to increase understanding and knowledge of what they say is set to be “the 21st century’s biggest killer”.

The Alzheimer’s Society reports that over 850,000 people in the UK have dementia – a number predicted to rise to over 1 million by 2025.

Whilst everyone becomes more forgetful as they grow older, dementia is different. It is a brain disease which affects daily life and is progressive. It is not a natural part of ageing. Dementia often starts with memory problems, but can go on to affect other parts of the brain causing:

  • difficulty coping with everyday tasks
  • difficulty in communicating
  • changes in mood, judgment or personality.

There may come a time when a person suffering from dementia is no longer able to manage their affairs. This can cause enormous problems and costs for the family if planning for this eventuality has not taken place. It would mean an application to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a deputy to look after the person’s affairs. This is a lengthy process and is costly. There will then be an ongoing involvement with the Court of Protection; annual accounts may have to be lodged and anytime a decision of substance (eg the sale of a house) has to be made a court’s consent will be required.

It is possible, as long as a person has capacity, to make a lasting power of attorney (LPA) appointing a family member or trusted friend to step in and make financial and medical decisions if the time comes when that person is unable to do so themselves. In the long term this is much easier for the family to manage than having a deputy in place.

You are never too young to set up a lasting power of attorney - you simply do not know what the future is going to bring. We have put together a useful guide on LPAs which you can download by clicking here.

Contact our wills, probate and trusts department on 01242 514000 or at the email address above if you would like help or have any questions.

Simon leads our wills, probate and trusts team. They handle all aspects of private client work such as trusts (including personal injury trusts), wills, powers of attorney, Court of Protection and estate planning and administration. Simon is also a member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners and the Law Society Private Client Section. 

Simon Cook
Simon Cook
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