How to get a power of attorney for someone with dementia?

July 4, 2024 - Reading time: 10 minutes

Having a power of attorney in place for someone with dementia can provide significant benefits in terms of their legal and financial affairs. This legal document enables the selected individual to act on the person's behalf in important decision-making situations, ensuring that their interests are safeguarded if they become incapacitated.
The power of attorney helps them deal with financial matters more effectively and ensures that appropriate medical care is delivered when required. It helps them manage their finances, healthcare needs, and overall well-being by providing support and assistance throughout their journey.
Ultimately, securing a power of attorney for someone with dementia is a proactive and responsible decision that can promote their long-term comfort and protection.

To obtain a power of attorney for someone with dementia in the UK, follow these steps:

Assess Capacity:

Empowering individuals with dementia to make decisions about their future is incredibly important. It’s vital to ensure that they fully understand the impact of granting power of attorney before moving forward. If there are any concerns about their cognitive ability, it’s an opportunity to reach out for support and advice from a healthcare professional. Remember, with the right support in place, individuals with dementia can continue to live fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Choose the Type of Power of Attorney:

When planning for the possibility of losing mental capacity, it is important to consider the appropriate type of power of attorney. The Ordinary Power of Attorney is often used to assist with specific tasks when the individual still has mental capacity. However, a Lasting Power of Attorney may be more suitable if there is a risk of losing mental capacity in the future. This type of power of attorney comes in two forms: Property and Financial Affairs LPA and Health and Welfare LPA. It is essential to carefully consider which option is best for the individual’s specific needs and circumstances. Seeking professional advice before making a decision is strongly recommended to ensure that the best interests of the individual are protected.

Complete the Forms:

For an Ordinary Power of Attorney, you can find the forms on the UK government website or consult a legal expert.
For Lasting Power of Attorney, you'll need the relevant forms for each type of LPA. These forms are available on the UK government website.

Appoint Attorneys:

Choose who will act as the attorney(s). These individuals will have the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the person with dementia.

Notify People:

Inform the person with dementia, close family members, and any other relevant parties about the intention to establish a power of attorney.

Certificate Provider:

A certificate provider confirms that the person understands the significance of granting power of attorney. This can be a family doctor, a solicitor, or another qualified individual.

Register the LPA:

To make the LPA legally valid, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). There is a registration fee.

Challenges and Safeguards:

The OPG may contact people close to the person with dementia to ensure the decision is in their best interest.

Use and Review:

Once registered, the attorney can use the powers granted in the LPA. It's important to review the arrangement periodically and make sure the person's best interests are being upheld.
It's recommended to seek legal advice or guidance from organisations that specialise in issues related to dementia or elder care to ensure the process is carried out correctly and in compliance with UK law.

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