Appointing power of attorney for those with dementia
Almost a million people in the UK have been diagnosed with some form of dementia, a potentially debilitating condition which sadly, leaves many unable to make day to day rational decisions.
With this in mind, it is always worth considering as the child of a parent with dementia, appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney so that your parent can continue to be cared for effectively as the condition progresses.
An LPA simply means that someone trusted, other than your parent, can take over their financial affairs, ensuring bills continue to be paid or that savings are protected.
Applying for an LPA at the first sign of dementia means that the process is quicker and can be arranged more easily. If however, the condition has progressed to the stage whereby the parent is considerably mentally incapacitated, then you will need to apply to the Court of Protection for a court-appointed representative to take over their financial affairs.
In this instance, then during this time, all of the parent’s assets will be frozen, with no financial transactions able to take place, which can obviously cause considerable issues.
If applied for well in time, all creditors and utility companies should be notified of your actions and intentions before making an application to the court to be granted an LPA. The application should include details of all assets, family relationships and a formal, medical assessment of the individual’s condition. You will also need to include details of your own financial status.
The whole process should take in the region of six months, if no objections arise or further investigation is not required. Once an LPA has been granted, estate planning in the form of IHT arrangements can begin.