Dementia is an illness which we are all becoming increasingly aware of due to the escalating age of the population. Dementia Awareness Week is the campaign run by the Alzheimer’s Society to raise awareness about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the United Kingdom.
At Kenyon Son & Craddock we are aware of the difficulties that families can face when a loved one is diagnosed with Dementia. We are keen to promote the importance of making provision for your future. We advise all our clients of the importance of preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney and a Will, to ensure that your wishes are carried out during your lifetime, and following your death.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney is an important aspect of planning for your future. They allow you to appoint someone who you trust to deal with your affairs if you become incapable, for whatever reason, of dealing with them in the future.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (known as a ‘LPAs’) are now widely considered as being as vital as having a Will. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney: Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare. The Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows the person or people you choose (your ‘Attorneys’) to deal with your finances such as your bank accounts and home, on your behalf. The Health and Welfare LPA allows your Attorneys to make decisions about your care should you be unable to make these decisions yourself. Your Attorneys can only use the Health and Welfare LPA should you lose mental capacity.
In order for your Attorneys to use the LPAs they must first be registered with a government body, the Office of the Public Guardian.
If you have not made a Lasting Power of Attorney and you become mentally incapable to make one in the future, through accident or illness, it may be necessary for an application to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint someone (known as a ‘Deputy’) to deal with your affairs. The application to the Court is complex and costly and you will not be able to choose your Deputy.
Making a Will is also a vital part of planning for your future. It allows you to state how you wish all of your assets, which include your personal items, bank accounts, home, and anything else which you own at your death, to be dealt with when you pass away. It is a common misconception that all assets pass automatically to the surviving members of your family if you do not leave a Will. Government legislation, The Intestacy Rules, dictate how your estate is dealt with if you do not leave a Will (known as dying ‘Intestate’), and this may not be in accordance with your wishes.
In order for your Will to be valid it must be properly drafted and executed. It is important to instruct experts to make your Will, who can also provide advice on inheritance tax planning and later life issues.
Dementia Awareness Week
If you plan now, all the provisions will be in place for you and your family to give peace of mind and security for the future.
If you have any questions or wish to put provisions in place please contact Sarah Littlewood or Laura Scott who specialise in dealing with Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney