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World Mental Health Day - October 2016

View profile for Laura Stuart
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According to the Alzheimer’s Society there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and 225,000 people will develop dementia this year.

With 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 having dementia, a number of those individuals will need assistance from family, friends or professionals to manage their personal affairs.

10th October is World Mental Health Day and it serves as a timely reminder that we should all be planning for the future.

Lasting Powers of Attorney 
Lasting Powers of Attorney are legal documents which enable you to appoint one or more persons to act on your behalf and make decisions relating to your financial affairs and health and care matters.

The key point to make is that at the time of signing you must be capable of understanding the document and its powers.

The benefits of preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney are:

  • You can choose a people you trust to be in control of your personal affairs
  • You can place restrictions on your attorneys through the documents
  • You have the right to change or revoke the document whilst you have capacity
  • There is a straight forward application process with a time scale of approximately 12 weeks to completion
  • It makes life easier and less stressful for your friends and family who will not have to apply to the Court of Protection if you have not prepared a Lasting Power of Attorney and lose capacity
  • It is considerably quicker and cheaper than having to make an application to the Court of Protection

Deputyship Order
Unfortunately, if you lack the mental capacity to manage your affairs and you have not prepared a Power of Attorney, a Deputy will need to be appointed by the Court of Protection.

A Deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the affairs of someone who lacks mental capacity. Any person can be appointed as a Deputy if they can demonstrate their suitability to the Court of Protection. If there is no one willing or suitable, a professional Deputy, such as a Solicitor, can be appointed.

As the person to whom the application relates is unable to make the decision as to whom they would like to appoint, the application process is very detailed. It is more costly and more time consuming than preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney, with current time scales being approximately 6 to 12 months. 

If you would like any advice, please contact our team.