How to Organise a Lasting Power of Attorney for Someone with Dementia
It can be very upsetting to watch a family member experience the effects of an illness, such as dementia. Discussing what will happen if they reach a stage where they are no longer able to make their own decisions may be challenging, but these are discussions that should not be avoided.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document in which a person, or persons, are nominated as attorneys to have the legal ability to make decisions on someone’s behalf. Although it may be hard to think about the deterioration of your own, or a loved one’s health, it is important to plan ahead to avoid the emotional and financial burdens that may occur if clear legal pathways are not laid out.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
- Health and Welfare LPA– this focuses on allowing the nominated attorney to make decisions about a person’s health, medical interventions and care.
- Property and Finance LPA– this form of Lasting Power of Attorney concerns decisions about a person’s property and finances.
There is no limit to how many attorneys a person can appoint.
Why would someone need a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Someone diagnosed with dementia will likely reach a point at which they are no longer deemed of sound mind. If a Lasting Power of Attorney is not in place, loved ones may be faced with difficult decisions, as well as legal issues and financial liabilities.
It is important to plan ahead as a person must still have the mental capacity to make their own decisions when arranging a Lasting Power of Attorney. There may be worries about passing on their decision-making rights to another, but there are strict rules and regulations in place to protect them.
How to make a Lasting Power of Attorney
The Lasting Power of Attorney documentation should be prepared with the support of a solicitor, to ensure that everything has been completed correctly, and then must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Hepburn Delaney can, if appropriate, act as “Certificate provider”, which means our solicitors can verify that a person is still of sound mind during this process. Alternatively, if necessary, we can assist you in instructing a doctor to provide the required certificate.
Hepburn Delaney can support you through the whole process, from providing advice to completing the relevant forms, and then registering the Lasting Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian on your behalf. This process is often less expensive than people may think and we can offer a fixed price quote so you will know from the start what costs will be involved.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with dementia and you would like more information about arranging a Lasting Power of Attorney, please do not hesitate to contact us.