Dementia, LPAs and Deputyships
This week (21-27 May) is Dementia Action Week, a week to take action and think about the things we can all do to change the lives of people affected by dementia and help create a more supportive society. To kick start Dementia Action week, an internal Dementia Friends Information Session was held at our Maidstone office on Monday to create even more Dementia Friends here at Whitehead Monckton.
This week the court has released its statistics for 2017*. Interestingly, the number of Lasting Powers Of Attorney (‘LPAs’) registered increased, with a 28% increase when compared to 2016. This is good news, indicating that awareness of LPAs and that they are not just for the elderly is increasing. Mental (or physical) incapacity can occur at any time and planning ahead eases the potential burden on loved ones. If you have attended a Dementia Friends Information Session you will know that not everyone who grows old develops dementia and not everyone who develops dementia is old!
If someone does not have LPAs in place and lacks sufficient mental capacity to make LPAs and manage their own affairs, a deputyship application to the Court of Protection is required. The court figures reveal that there was almost a 50% increase of orders made under the Mental Capacity Act when compared to 2016, with 38,945 orders being made over the year. Over a third of these orders related to an appointment of a deputy for property and financial affairs.
Having taken the time to increase their understanding of dementia, our team do not ‘jump to conclusions’ and presume that just because someone has been diagnosed with dementia they are incapable of making LPAs. They understand that each individual has their own dementia journey and take the time, often in conjunction with a doctor, to assess each individual’s capacity. If the deputyship route is required, we can support loved ones through the process.
If you or a loved one wish to discuss any of the above further then please do not hesitate to contact us. Our Tax and Estate Planning team take pride in supporting their clients to put the right legal documentation in place for them.
Article by Bekka Fuszard, Solicitor
*You can download the full court statistics report from the gov.uk website.