Research published in 2018 has shown that there are over 800,000 people in the UK who are living with dementia.

With age being one of the most significant risk facts associated with dementia, as the population is living longer, it is likely that more people will be diagnosed with dementia. It is estimated that by 2025 the number of people in the UK living with dementia will have increased to one million.

The 20th May marks the start of Dementia Action Week 2019. As dementia progresses those affected may reach a point where they are no longer considered to have mental capacity.

Mental capacity is having the ability to make decisions. The Mental Capacity Act has defined being unable to make a decision as being unable to do the following:

  • Understand information relevant to the decision being made

  • Retain the information

  • Use that decision to weigh up factors as a part of the decision-making process

  • Communicate the decision made

While the law will always make a presumption that a person will have mental capacity, unless proven otherwise, once the capacity is lost a person will be unable to deal with their affairs.

In order to protect against the possibility of this happening, many people will consider making Lasting Powers of Attorney.

The Power of Attorney exists in two forms, Property and Financial Affairs, and Health and Welfare.

Once a Lasting Power of Attorney has been made and has been registered, it will give authority to a chosen individual or individuals to act on your behalf. This can include everyday matters such as banking, large transactions, such as buying and selling property, or decisions relating to care and medical treatment.

If a person reaches a stage where they no longer have mental capacity, or if they were physically unable to carry out the actions required, for example due to being abroad for an extended period or due to an illness, then their appointed attorneys can act for them. However, if no attorneys had been appointed, once capacity has been lost it is too late to choose who would act in your affairs and make decisions on your behalf.

Lasting Powers of Attorney can provide security and peace of mind for individuals across all walks of life ensuring that, if and when the time came, provision would have been made to manage your assets and assist with your decisions.

To find out more about how you can make a Lasting Power of Attorney contact Fiona Bruce & Co LLP for a free, no obligation quotation.

The contents of this post do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only