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This article was published on April 1st, 2022
Dementia is a difficult disease to deal with, and if your loved one is showing the early signs, it can be a challenging time for the whole family. This blog will detail the importance of a lasting power of attorney (LPA), the different types of LPA and whether or not you can get a lasting power of attorney for someone showing early signs of dementia.
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that appoints one or more trusted people to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so for whatever reason. An LPA gives you, your family, and your loved ones the assurance that everything will be handled in your best interests by someone you know and trust.
LPAs are divided into two categories. One or both of these can be drawn up. It is possible to appoint the same attorney(s) for both or to designate a different counsel for each. They are as follows:
This involves choosing a trusted person to make decisions on your behalf in regard to your health and welfare including decisions about medical treatment and residential care. This can only be used when the individual has lost mental capacity.
This involves choosing a trusted person to manage your financial affairs, such as managing your bank accounts or paying your bills. Unlike the health and welfare LPA, this can be used at any time (if the donor instructs so at the time of making the LPA) regardless of your mental capacity. For example, if you are intending to spend extended time abroad.
If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with dementia, you will need to act quickly as you may still be able to set up an LPA for them providing they still have mental capacity. A dementia diagnosis does not necessarily mean that person has lost mental capacity. If they are showing early signs of dementia, they may still be able to make informed decisions about their welfare. If this is the case, you will still be able to set up an LPA for them.
The LPA must be registered with the Court of Protection after it is completed, or it will be invalid. Registration can take place now or when the individual’s mental capacity has deteriorated. The LPA will remain valid if your loved one loses mental ability during the registration process. However, it is best to register as soon as the forms are completed so that any problems can be identified and remedied. The LPA cannot be recorded if errors are detected after the person has lost mental capacity.
If your loved one has lost mental capacity before you have been able to set up an LPA, you will need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order and they will then appoint someone to make decisions on their behalf.
If you are looking to appoint a lasting power of attorney for your loved one in the early stages of dementia. If you would like to discuss the options that are available to you, our experienced Solicitors are here to help you. Here at Thorneycroft, we understand the sensitive nature of LPAs and applications to the Court of Protection.
If you would like to know more or would like to book a free initial consultation. Contact our expert LPA solicitors on 0800 1979345 or fill out our simple enquiry form.