This is a thought that has crossed my mind every time someone tells me one of their parents has been diagnosed with Dementia. Sadly this is becoming more and more common. From a legal perspective what can we do to ensure that steps have been put in place for our later years?
The Office for National Statistics puts UK life expectancy at 79.4 years for men and 83.1 years for women. Recent statistics show that 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 are diagnosed with Dementia. Currently, there are 850,000 people living with Dementia with this figure set to rise to over a million by 2025. ‘Dementia’ describes the different brain disorders which trigger loss of brain function.
Dementia can progressively result in a person no longer being able to make decisions for themselves. Most people have a loved one who they would want to step in and make those decisions for them. The legal way of doing this would be to put in place whilst they still had the capability a Lasting Power of Attorney. Anyone who is over the age of 18 and has mental capacity can make a Lasting Power of Attorney.
This is a legal document which can allow friends or family members to assist to make those decisions on their behalf. These decisions can be made in relation to their health and welfare or to manage their finances. The benefits are that whilst you are in good health you can nominate someone trustworthy to make important life decisions for you. It can be more difficult and costly to do this if you have already lost your capacity. Taking control of your future life while you are able to will make all the different should the worst happen.
If you have any queries about making a Lasting Power of Attorney then contact our Probate Team on 0161 491 8520.