Statistics from the NHS show that more than 850,000 people in the UK suffer from dementia. This is broken down as being 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 and as many as 1 in 6 over the age of 80.,[i] but did you ever stop to think what would happen if you were affected? How would your family support you?
If you are ever unfortunate enough to suffer from a disease such as dementia you may require assistance from your friends and family to complete simple tasks such as buy your groceries or pay your bills. However no person is legally granted access to your accounts and finances simply because you are diagnosed with dementia. This can cause extremely difficult situations for example bills may go unpaid as may you simply forget to pay them.
You can however grant your family access to your accounts and finances in the event that you lack mental capacity so that they are able to assist you in these circumstances. Such permission is provided by creating a Lasting Power of Attorney under which you can choose up to 4 people (Attorneys) to act on your behalf. Your chosen Attorneys are subject to strict rules and regulations set by the Court to always act in your best interest and sanctions can be imposed upon any who are seen to be acting unfairly.
By creating a Lasting Power of Attorney you grant yourself, your friends and family peace of mind that should anything unfortunate happen in the future your Attorneys will be ready to help.
If you do not have a valid Lasting Power of Attorney in place and do suffer from a lack of mental capacity your family may have to make an application to the Court for Deputyship. These applications are much lengthier and more costly and stressful to the family. It is therefore best planning to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney for your protection and peace of mind.
Lasting Powers of Attorney can only be created when the person making them is of sound mind. It is therefore best to act quickly to avoid any circumstances which would not allow for the Lasting Power of Attorney to be created.
If you would like to discuss your options for Lasting Powers of Attorney with a member of our private client team please call us on 01226 210000 or email at email@example.com. One of our experienced solicitors will be happy to answer any questions you may have.