As you may know, a Lasting Power of Attorney is put in place so that someone that you trust implicitly (known as Attorneys) can manage your finances & property and/or your health & welfare decisions on your behalf.
A Lasting Power of Attorney must be put in place whilst the Donor (the person giving the Power) has capacity, and a Certificate Provider is required to certify this in order for the Lasting Power of Attorney to be registered by the Office of the Public Guardian.
Once diagnosed with Dementia is it too late to make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Whether a Lasting Power of Attorney can be created and registered after a Dementia diagnosis will depend on how soon the diagnosis takes place and whether that individual has capacity, lucid or ‘good’ days and is still of sound mind.
If the individual still has capacity or has lucid days where they are clear on their finances, current affairs and appear to be unaffected by the Dementia then it may well be that a Lasting Power of Attorney can be prepared at this time and instructions taken from the individual.
A Certificate Provider will meet with the individual and go through, carefully and sensitively, the current circumstances and ask questions as to that individual’s circumstances and personal affairs, as well as current affairs in the news and media, to ascertain their general capacity and mental wellbeing. If the Certificate Provider is content that the intended Donor has capacity, and they are aware of the importance of the Lasting Power of Attorney and the extent of the Power that they are giving to their Attorneys, then the Lasting Power of Attorney can be applied for and registered.
When registering a Lasting Power of Attorney, it may be necessary to notify people that an application is being made in order to protect the Donor. Notification can be given to up to five people although this cannot be given to those that are being appointed as the Attorneys. This provides extra security for the Donor and allows the person, or people, being notified of the intended registration the opportunity to object to the Power being registered for any of the following reasons:-
- if they believe that the Donor does not have mental capacity;
- if the person being notified has a genuine belief that the Donor was under undue pressure to give the Power or is a victim of fraud;
- if the person being notified has a genuine belief that the Attorney would act in a way that is beyond their powers under the Power or would not be in the best interests of the Donor;
- if the Donor of the intended Attorney, or Attorneys, have already passed away;
- if the Donor and intended Attorney were married or in a civil partnership and this has now ended;
- if the intended Attorney does not have the mental capacity to be appointed as an Attorney;
- if the Attorney is bankrupt;
Having both Lasting Powers of Attorney in place means that, the Donor is able to appoint the people they know and trust (whilst still of sound mind to make such a decision) to make decisions for them when they are unable to do so for themselves, and takes an unnecessary stress away from both them and their loved ones at, what is already, a difficult time.
We are always happy to have a chat with you about putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, the Powers that are available and whether this is still a viable option for either yourself or a loved one.