After you or a loved one have been diagnosed with dementia, it is important to plan ahead to ensure the sufferer is taken care of in the best possible way. It can be an emotional process – nobody likes to imagine a partner, family member or least of all yourself going through it – but advance care planning guarantees someone with dementia is properly looked after in the years to come.
One particularly important way you can plan ahead, which Southport solicitors Magnus Legal are advocating during Dementia Awareness Week (15th May to 21st May), is to acquire a lasting power of attorney. Lasting power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone else to make important decisions on behalf of a person who is mentally incapable of doing it themselves, for instance if they are suffering from dementia. An LPA hands this responsibility to a trusted loved one so they, instead, can make crucial decisions about property, finances, welfare and much more.
The responsibility of taking care of yourself if you are suffering from dementia can become a crippling source of anxiety. A lasting power of attorney allows someone else to shoulder this burden of making vital decisions. It also prevents the risk of someone with dementia having their situation taken advantage of by strangers. Furthermore, giving loved ones the power to handle your legal matters can ultimately save you time and money in the long run as decisions about wealth, welfare, finance or property can become perplexing for someone with dementia.
Anyone can be named as your attorney as long as they are mentally capable and over the age of 18. You could even have several attorneys who can make decisions together or to handle certain matters individually. Anyone who is granted lasting power of attorney must follow the law of the Mental Capacity Act and they may be prosecuted if they do not. This ensures no-one can take advantage of the person in their care, for instance, or mix their finances with your own.
Although there will be a lot to think about after a dementia diagnosis, it is crucial that lasting powers of attorney are considered as early as possible. It is a good idea to consult a solicitor to assist you with them as they are important, lawfully binding documents. Doing so could save someone with dementia, and the people around them, from years of stress or worry.
If you, or someone you know, is worried about dementia, Call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or email: [email protected]
Magnus Legal is a solicitors firm based in Southport, Merseyside and operating nationally. Magnus provides the full range of legal services including personal injury, conveyancing, wealth management and more. Their website is at: http://www.magnuslegal.com.
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