Last week marked Dementia Action Week raising awareness and encouraging people to ‘act on dementia’. As part of the campaign we worked with our friends at Age UK Berkshire and took part in a number of fantastic events to help raise awareness.
Lucy Butcher a Partner in the Inheritance Protection Team offers guidance on what provisions those diagnosed with dementia and those who live/care for someone with dementia should consider putting in place.
1. Prepare Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you (the donor) to appoint up to four people to act as your attorneys to either help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.
There are two types of LPA:
- Property and Financial– allows your attorney to manage your finances such as paying bills and making investment decisions.
- Health and Welfare – allows your attorney to manage health and welfare decisions should you lose capacity to do so. This can include, medical care, moving into a nursing home or even consenting or refusing to life sustaining treatment.
The important point to note is that your attorneys will only act on your behalf if you want them to or if you lose capacity and you need them.
2. Prepare or update your Will
It is important to ensure that you have an up to date valid Will in place. Without a Will your estate will be administered following the strict rules of intestacy. Therefore it is outside of your control as to who will or won’t benefit from your estate.
Writing a Will enables you to:
- Appoint appropriate executors
- Appoint trustees
- Make gifts
- Divide your estate between your intended beneficiaries
- Provide for the creation of other types of trust
- Plan for any inheritance tax liability efficiently and effectively
- Protect assets for your loved ones
- Set out your funeral requirements
Making or reviewing your Will is important for all and something to do sooner rather than later. It is important to note that a diagnosis of Dementia does not mean a person does not have capacity to make a Will or prepare LPAs. However, a person can only make these documents if they have capacity to do so.