Dementia describes different brain disorders that trigger a loss of brain function. These conditions are all usually progressive and eventually severe. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting between 50 and 75 per cent of those diagnosed. Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding. Dementia is a terminal condition. There are currently around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. 209,600 will develop dementia this year, that's one every three minutes. One in six people over the age of 80 have dementia and in total there are over 42,000 people under 65 with dementia in the UK.
In order to make sure that your affairs would continue to be properly managed and your health and welfare properly attended to, if you were to develop Dementia, it is possible for you to appoint a person now to act for you in the future if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. The documents that enable you to do this are called Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs). There are two types of LPAs as follows: -
1. An LPA for Health & Care Decisions allows you to appoint an attorney(s) to make decisions regarding your health care and welfare in the event that you lose the mental capacity to do so yourself. This type of LPA also allows you to give your attorney(s) to consent or refuse life sustaining treatment on your behalf.
2. An LPA for Financial Decisions allows your attorney(s) to deal with your property and finances. Under the terms of this kind of LPA your attorney(s) can act for you at your direction whilst you have the ability to make decisions for yourself, or you can restrict the power so that your attorney(s) can only act if you were to lose mental capacity.
It is important that the people you appoint as your attorneys are people who you trust, have appropriate skills to make the necessary decisions and, where you appoint more than one attorney, it is important that those people will work well together and support you and each other.
By entering into an LPA, you are giving significant authority to another individual and we would therefore always recommend that you seek specialist legal advice, just as you would when preparing a Will.
At Burningham & Brown we can assist you in making your decision about who to appoint as your attorney and how many people to appoint. We can also advise you on the guidance you can include in the documents to put your mind at rest and assist your attorney(s) with an extremely responsible task. We can inform you of the obligations and authority that an attorney(s) has under the law and about other specific authorities or restrictions you can include in the documents.
In order for an LPA to be valid it needs to be signed by a Certificate Provider and if we prepare the LPA document for you we can act as the Certificate Provider to certify that you have the mental capacity to make the document, that you are not under any undue pressure to do so and that you understand the extent of the authority that you are giving to your attorney(s).
Finally, we can provide your attorney(s) with relevant information about their roles and explain the procedures that they need to follow if they ever need to act on your behalf. In order to be valid a LPA has to be registered with the Office of Public Guardian and we can arrange for this to be done, we will also store the original document free of charge and provide certified copies of the document as necessary.
If you would like to book an appointment with Justine Alford please contact us on 01225 320090 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Burningham & Brown is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - SRA Number: 00044479