Dementia and the importance of Power of Attorney

News - 11/05/2016

You may have heard Radio 4’s ‘Suppose I Lose It’ programme (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07cy2s6) in which Joan Blackwell (who is in her 80s) and others in her generation discuss the impact and fear of dementia.

The programme explains how over 800,000 people now live with dementia and there is no available cure. It also suggests that whilst people have mental capacity they ought to get their affairs in order by putting in place or reviewing their Will and arranging Power of Attorney. It is the latter of those that I wish to explain.

A Power of Attorney is a legal process where you hand over to someone else (the attorney) the power to make decisions on your behalf. The main form of Power of Attorney is a Lasting Power of Attorney and there are two types: i. for property and financial affairs; and ii. for health and welfare. You can choose to make one type or both.

The Lasting Power of Attorney for property and financial affairs gives an attorney power to make decisions about matters such as managing a bank account, paying bills and collecting benefits or a pension.

The Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare only applies if the person who has signed it has lost mental capacity and gives an attorney power to make decision about things such as medical care, moving into a care home and life-sustaining treatment.

A Power of Attorney is invaluable when the unexpected happens. It gives peace of mind to your loved ones and legal authority to assist you with your affairs when you are unable to manage them yourself.

For further information online please have a look at Morrisons Solicitors specific webpage https://www.morrlaw.com/wills-estates-tax-planning/powers-of-attorney/.

If you wish to discuss this further, please do give us a call on 01737 854 500, email us [email protected] or visit us in one of our five offices, Redhill, Woking, Wimbledon, Camberley and Teddington.

Disclaimer:

Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this newsletter/blog are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.