Dementia and Finances

Families are being urged to consider the financial impact of their loved ones being diagnosed with dementia.

According to the charity Alzheimer’s Society, about 850,000 people in Britain have the condition, with a new diagnosis made every three minutes. This can obviously have a massive effect on a person’s finances and their ability to deal with these effectively.

According to experts, the best way to help sufferers with their finances is to use a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), but this must be set up while the person has the mental capacity to do so.

An LPA is a legal document that allows you to nominate a person to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so, perhaps due to an illness or accident. There are two types: one for health and welfare and the other for property and financial affairs.

People shouldn’t wait until they start forgetting things and fear they may have dementia: an LPA is useful to have at any age in case they have an accident or illness. You need to be “of sound mind” when drafting an LPA and sadly, all too often, it is too late when a family realise it is needed.

Once the person lacks the capacity to set up an LPA, the alternative is to make an application to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputyship. This can take many months and be expensive.

So, when thinking about your family finances, please do consider this issue or talk to Otium Partners for more information.

Greg Wood