Keep Carrying On – The Importance of a Lasting Power of Attorney
Dame Barbara Windsor, who sadly passed away earlier this month, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and was a prominent campaigner for research into dementia and better care from those affected by the disease in her role as an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society.
Living with dementia can lead to all sorts of emotional, practical and physical issues, which have an impact on the individual and those caring for and living with them. One practical thing that should always be considered following a diagnosis of this nature, is putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney so that decisions about finances and welfare can be made on the individual’s behalf if they are unable to make such decisions for themselves.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are prepared when a person has the mental capacity to appoint Attorneys to look after their finances and health or general welfare if they were to lose capacity in the future. A Power of Attorney is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, the statutory body overseeing how attorneys act. An Attorney can be a trusted friend or family member or it can be a professional that can step in to act when the person is unable to manage their own affairs.
Attorneys can support the individual with their finances, manage any care fees and ensure that they are receiving the benefits they are entitled to. A health and welfare attorney can make decisions about where that person resides, the care they receive and general welfare decisions.
Without an up-to-date Lasting Power of Attorney, situations can arise where decisions need to be made for someone who has lost capacity and a Court of Protection application for a Deputy to be appointed can follow which is a more drawn out and expensive process.
If you have not got a Lasting Power of Attorney, and would like to make the necessary provisions and plan for the future, please contact Sophie Fenn who is a Solicitor in the Private Client department in our Solihull office.
Sophie will be able to advise you on all aspects of Lasting Powers of Attorney, provide reassurance and will be able to assist you with putting the Powers of Attorney through the Office of the Public Guardian.