Did you know that globally nearly 50 million people are living with dementia? (alzheimers.org.uk)
We believe it is important to spread awareness and collectively work together to share best practice on how to plan your estate effectively with a view to minimizing the impact that dementia may cause to you or your loved ones.
Why should you make a Will?
A Will allows you to provide for many aspects of your estate including who you wish to gift your estate to in the event of your death. A Will can only be made by a person whilst they have mental capacity. If a person does not make a Will, then the law can decide who inherits the estate which may not be an individual(s) who you want or that you would expect. Find out more on wills and why people should make them.
Lasting Power of Attorney
Whilst a person has mental capacity, they can appoint someone who they trust (“an attorney”) to deal with their health and finances in the event that they lose mental capacity in the future. The person can give this power using a legal document called a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
There are two types of LPA:
- LPA for decisions about health and welfare – this covers decisions regarding health, treatment and where the person will live.
- LPA for property and financial affairs – this covers the management of your finances for example, accessing bank accounts, payment of bills and taxes and so on.
You can appoint different attorneys for either LPA where one or more attorney can be appointed.
In the event that a person loses mental capacity and has not made an LPA (or the old style Enduring Power of Attorney) then a deputyship order will need to be made to appoint someone to make decisions for the person concerned. However, we would not recommend for you to rely on the deputyship order as it can take around a year to obtain and is an expensive process, not only on the initial order, but through the lifetime of the person.
Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) signed before 1st October 2007 can still be used. When a person who has created the Enduring Power of Attorney starts to lose or has lost their mental capacity then the document needs to be registered. Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in October 2007. Should you replace your Enduring Power of Attorney with a Lasting Power of Attorney?
An EPA only deals with a person’s finances. In the event that you wish to appoint an attorney to deal with your health and welfare in the event that you lose mental capacity then you will still need to create a Health and Welfare LPA.
How Moore Barlow can help
If you wish to discuss a will, lasting power of attorney or an enduring power of attorney, please contact our experienced and professional Private Wealth Team, who will be happy to assist you.