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Dementia, Banks and Lasting Powers of Attorney - what price peace of mind?

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It is estimated that almost 50% of people in the UK are connected to someone living with dementia. One of the biggest problems facing families and carers is how to deal with the banks which are not noted for being ‘dementia friendly’.

No one likes to think of getting old and not being in control of their lives – wondering how they will cope, not only with day to day living but having to deal with their finances when they don’t feel capable of doing so. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal tool that allows you to appoint someone to make certain decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so. It is a way to plan ahead, not only for finances but also for your future care.

It can be reassuring to know that if you are unable to make a decision for yourself in the future (known as lacking mental capacity) your chosen person ( your attorney) will make these decisions for you. Making an LPA ensures that the person you have chosen will be able to do so. This will prevent someone you may not trust from having this power. An LPA can reduce problems in the future – it is more expensive and time consuming for family and friends to approach the Court of Protection for help once you have lost capacity and also it helps initiate discussions with the family about your future wishes.

You must be over the age of 18 to make an LPA and must also have the mental capacity to understand what this means. You can choose anyone you wish to be your attorney as long as they are aged over 18. You should think very carefully about who you trust to make decisions for you and if that person has the skills to administer the role. You can have more than one attorney; most people choose a relative or trusted friend.

Wills & Tax solicitor Malky Chaloner says, “In cases where memory loss is an issue or when there is an early sign /diagnosis of dementia, having an LPA gives you the peace of mind that the banks and other financial institutions will be able to deal with your attorney straight away should the need arise.” In fact, banks have recently stated on the BBC the fact that they acknowledge the problems people have dealing with dementia and their finances. Therefore, banks are taking a pro-active approach in making it easier for attorneys to register the LPA so that the attorneys can help the donor straight away with their personal finances if and when the time comes for this to be needed.

For a free initial discussion, please call 01202 499255 and Malky or a member of her team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.

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