Dementia: How a Lasting Power of Attorney can protect families

With dementia and Alzheimer’s disease now officially the biggest cause of death in England and Wales1, more families are protecting their future by creating Lasting Powers of Attorney while they have the mental capacity to do so.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables you to choose the person or people who would make decisions which affect you, if you are not able to do this for yourself. LPAs make things easier for family and relatives if you lose capacity, helping ensure that decisions that affect you would be made in your best interests, and that your affairs, both your finances and your health, are managed in the way you would have wanted. These documents  are straightforward to draw up, and one or more people can be appointed to act as attorney.

Without an LPA or a valid pre-October 2007 Enduring Power of Attorney (finances only), someone would have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your Deputy, a process that can be expensive and time-consuming, often taking up to six months to complete.

1 Office for National Statistics 2015.