What is the Problem?
As you may know, news articles have flagged up serious concerns over social care for the elderly. One area highlighted is that people diagnosed with dementia who are living in a care home may not necessarily receive funding from the NHS despite dementia being a medical issue.
As private client solicitors here at Kerseys, we are aware of the need to support elderly ones. It has been our experience to find that there is a growing need to help elderly people with legal matters when they become ill.
Once someone has been diagnosed with an illness such as dementia, they often find themselves unable to handle their legal and financial affairs. This can especially be true in relation to organising and funding their care. Family and friends often find themselves on a back footing when they become involved to try and help that elderly person with their affairs.
What You Can Do Now
It is worthwhile considering whether your affairs are in order and what you can do now to help the situation in the future.
Whilst a person has capacity (the ability to understand and make decisions) with regard to their affairs, it is a good time for them to consider appointing an Attorney to handle their affairs on their behalf either now or in the future.
They would need to do this by entering into a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). By actively making an LPA, they would be the one who chooses who will handle their affairs and in what capacity. The power to choose an Attorney is with you.
For elderly people diagnosed with a condition resulting in them no longer having mental capacity, the situation is more complicated as they no longer have the ability to make an LPA. Instead, their family or friends will need to apply to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy to handle that person’s affairs. This process takes longer, is more complicated and the power to choose who acts as a Deputy is up to the Court. It is almost as if the decision is taken out of your hands.
As a society, we are getting older and already the strains are visible on our social care services. This strain is further compounded by people, who no longer have the ability to handle their financial and legal affairs, failing to appoint attorneys to act for them earlier in life.
How Kerseys can help
Kerseys Solicitors always recommend that whilst you can, you should at least consider making an LPA.Lasting Power of Attorney
We at Kerseys have a very experienced team who would be happy to assist you with any of the matters raised above. For further information on LPAs, please contact Kerseys Solicitors.
Solicitor in Private Client Department, Kerseys