Managing legal affairs for someone with dementia
- AuthorLauren Jasper
There are 850,000 people living with Dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025.
Whilst the number of registered Lasting Powers of Attorney are rising, many people are left unprepared with family members or carers being unable to make decisions on their behalf. In these circumstances it will be necessary to obtain an order made by the Court of Protection appointing a deputy.
A deputy is appointed to make ongoing decisions regarding a person’s property and financial affairs, or sometimes their health and welfare, when they are unable to make those decisions themselves. Anyone over the age of 18 can be appointed as a deputy but it is usually a family member, close friend or a solicitor. The Court of Protection will look at whether there is anyone who has a close connection to the person lacking capacity and would be able to carry out the role of deputy. If there is no one suitable then it may be appropriate for a solicitor to be appointed as professional deputy.
Once an order has been made the deputy will be able to deal with the day to day finances of the person, such as paying bills or care fees, buying food or clothing and selling or purchasing property.
Obtaining an order from the Court of Protection is a long process, so it is important that you seek advice from a solicitor as soon as possible. Here at Talbots we have a dedicated team of specialist lawyers who can advise and assist you with applications to become a deputy for your loved one. However, acting as deputy can sometimes be time consuming and demanding and often puts pressure on a family. Our team act as professional deputy for numerous people and these services can be offered where people do not feel comfortable or do not have the time to take on the role of deputy.
If you’re concerned about a family member or a close friend and you’re looking for some friendly advice on how to move forward Talbots Law's Trusts & Estates team are always on hand to help - contact us now to find out how we can help. Telephone 0800 118 1500, or email Lauren Jasper direct. Or why not drop in for coffee and cake at one of our Dementia Friends sessions during Dementia Action Week?
For further advice regarding dementia please call the Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122