If a friend or relative has recently been diagnosed with dementia, you may be worrying if it’s too late to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for them – and the answer is, it depends on their mental capacity.
A diagnosis of dementia does not in itself equate to a loss of mental capacity, necessarily, as it depends on how far progressed the condition is. In the eyes of the law, mental capacity is the ability to make informed decisions, to understand information relating to each decision and to use this as the basis before communicating the decision.
Everyone has the right to make their own decisions in life when they can, and in the early stages of dementia there may still be sufficient mental capacity required in order to set up an LPA.
How To Get An LPA For Someone With Dementia?
If your friend or relative is in the early stages of dementia and has not lost mental capacity, they can set up an LPA still.
With the guidance and help of a solicitor, your loved one will be able to create a Lasting Power of Attorney, as the solicitor will verify the individual understands the decision they are making.
There are 2 types of LPAs, one relating to property and finance, the other to health and welfare. The individual can choose people for each decision type or to assist with both types. The property and finance LPA can be used at any time by the person who made it, even if they still have mental capacity, whereas the health and welfare one can only be used once the person no longer has mental capacity.
Once completed, the LPA needs to be registered with the Court of Protection or it won’t be valid. Registration can take place now or when there is no longer mental capacity. If your friend or loved one loses mental capacity during the registration process, the LPA will remain valid once registered.
What Happens If The Dementia Has Progressed?
If your friend or relative has lost mental capacity before setting up an LPA, it is no longer possible to set one up and instead you need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order for a person to be appointed to make decisions on their behalf.
As with LPAs, there are 2 types of Deputyship Orders, one for property and finances, the other for health and welfare.
How To Get A Deputyship Order For Someone With Dementia
The process to be appointed deputy for a friend or relative with dementia, who has lost mental capacity, is a long and complex one that can be costly and emotionally upsetting – this is why we would always recommend an experienced Solicitor to assist with the process.
The completion of several forms is required, including one that needs to be filled by a medical professional involved in your friend or relative’s care that states they have lost mental capacity and can no longer make decisions for themselves. In addition, there are costs including a £400 application fee and potentially a £500 Court hearing fee, plus £100 new deputy fee once accepted and an annual supervision fee that varies according to the value of the estate. In addition to this, an annual insurance bond will be required to be taken out, which seeks to protect the value of the assets involved.
How We Can Help With Lasting Powers Of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney enables individuals to retain control and have their wishes carried out by loved ones even when they no longer have the mental capacity to make decisions themselves.
If a friend or relative has recently been diagnosed with dementia, it’s vital you take swift action as it maybe you can still set up an LPA for them if they still have mental capacity.
However, if your friend or relative has lost mental capacity, we can help you through the complex process of applying for a Deputyship Order – we will work closely with you to make the procedure as stress-free and efficient as possible.
Our experienced Solicitors understand the sensitive nature of LPAs and applying to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order, and are able to provide relevant and supportive advice and guidance to assist you at every step, whatever your personal situation.
To speak to one of our specialist solicitors about putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place for someone with dementia, contact us on 0800 988 3674 or contact our Hoole office on 01244 311 633 or via mobile on 0333 200 4465 email firstname.lastname@example.org