Dementia, Brain Injuries and Illnesses- have you made provisions?
Mar 06, 2018
I am sure we all know of someone who has suffered dementia, or some form of brain injury or illness that has resulted in their loss of mental capacity. Although it's true, none of us knows what's around the corner, there are steps we can take just in case the worst happens and we find ourselves or our loved ones in this terrible situation. A Lasting Power of Attorney could be just what you need. Putting it simply, there are two types, one is for Property and Finance and the other is for Health and Welfare. The Property and Finance LPA is designed to allow you (the Donor), to nominate one or more Attorneys (people you trust), to act on your behalf in all your property and financial affairs should you either lose mental capacity, or find yourself in the position whereby you are no longer confident to deal with these matters on your own. This LPA would allow your Attorney's to deal with things like, your mortgage or rent, all benefits, pensions, savings, bank accounts, utilities, investments etc, in fact anything money related. With this LPA you can hand over power temporarily or on a permanent basis whilst you have mental capacity. When and if the time comes that you no longer have capacity, this is when power is transferred to your Attorney's permanently. The other type of LPA is for Health and Welfare and although in essence it's operated along the same lines as the Property and Finance one, there is one fundamental difference. This LPA can only come into effect when mental capacity has been lost and not before. Therefore, your Attorney's cannot make decisions about your medical care, or where you should receive this care whilst you still retain mental capacity. In addition this LPA also allows you to decide who should make the decisions about your resuscitation. For example, you may wish your Attorney's to decide whether you should given life prolonging care or treatment or whether this should be left to the medical staff. The idea is that if you appoint your Attorney's to make the decisions they will do so knowing exactly what your preferences would have been, and this can be very important should you have strong beliefs about certain types of treatment or have strong religious views. Both of these documents are generated in accordance with your wishes and are registered and recorded with The Office of Public Guardian which is a government body. Each document is recorded with a unique number so they are fully traceable. As they are legal documents they are taken very seriously by the financial institutions and organisations they are presented to. It should also be noted that when the Donor dies that the LPA is automatically invalid as then the Probate process takes over. We have extensive experience in organising Lasting Powers of Attorney and would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.