Dementia - what might happen to your home?

Dementia has not always been something that people want to think about, but awareness of Dementia and Alzheimer’s is improving and more people are now planning ahead.

You need to think about who will manage your finances, pay your household bills, and if necessary sell your property, if you become mentally or physically incapable. This is particularly important because the future of social care funding is so uncertain, especially after the recent Election.

Here is what you need to know.

  • A Lasting Power of Attorney Property & Financial Affairs will allow you (the donor) to appoint at least one person you trust who will be granted authority to deal with your finances on your behalf (your attorney).
  • Before it can be validly used, the documentation must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
  • Your attorney must always act in your best interests and if you still have mental capacity, must take directions from you.
  • You can also make a LPA for Health & Welfare, which can direct your attorney on such things as care and medical treatment. These are equally important and should be considered at the same time.
  • If you become mentally incapable of managing your own affairs and have not completed an LPA, then application to the Court has to be made. This can be a lengthy and expensive process.

Sometimes family members act in what they think are the best interests of a relative who is incapable, but where no formal authority exists, family members can fall out and a lengthy court process can ensue. Avoid this at all costs!

Therefore, as with many things, seeking advice at an early stage and doing things properly will often save money and stress in the long run. Our team of lawyers, who include Dementia Friends and Solicitors for the Elderly members, can help you plan ahead.

Published 6 September 2017

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