Let's Get Behind Dementia Awareness Week

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Alzheimer's Society is asking everyone to unite against Dementia next week, Dementia Awareness Week (14th — 20th May 2017). By doing so we can help to raise awareness, offer help and understanding, improve care and urgently find a cure. Keen to do their bit, our estate planners have pulled together this short guide to helping a person who has recently been diagnosed with dementia to plan for the future. They're also pulling together a list of legal and financial service providers who are getting behind Dementia Awareness Week and doing something special, such as donating all (or a percentage) of income generated through related purchases to a dementia focussed charity.

If you know of any more, do please get in touch via the form at the bottom of this post to let us know.

 

How to help someone with dementia plan for their future

 

Step 1: Intervene early — talk to the person with dementia to establish what is already in place ...

When a person is diagnosed with dementia it can be quite a relief for that person and their loved ones. The diagnosis comes with plenty of support from the NHS and charities, such as Alzheimer's Society. As well as practical day to day advice and support, three areas of legal planning will be flagged up as requiring immediate attention:

 

  • Planning for long-term care
  • Making arrangements for finance and property
  • Giving another named person (or named people) legal responsibility for making decisions on behalf of the person with dementia (via a document call a Lasting Power of Attorney)

 

These areas require immediate attention as, the sooner planning begins, the more likely the person with dementia will be able to participate and the less likely any decisions (regarding inheritance in a Will, or possible deliberate deprivation intentions behind moving money into a Trust, for example) will be open to challenge.

So, the first step is to establish what estate planning documents are in place, if any. Ones that should be — no negotiation — are a Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Others that could be, and that could enable the person's family to plan for future care costs include a Family Asset Trust and a Protective Will Property Trust.

 

Step 2: Establish what type of legal documents would protect the person with dementia and their family members from unexpected costs and uncomfortable decisions ...

 

Having established what is in place, establish what else might be needed. Clicking through the links above will help. Talking to a solicitor specialising in legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers is a also good idea. Solicitors for the Elderly, an independent, national organisation of lawyers recommended by Alzheimer's Society, provide such specialist legal advice.

Another thing to urgently action in if there is not an LPA in place and the person with dementia no longer passes the Mental Capacity Act, is an application for Deputyship with the Court of Protection.

Other areas of advice to consider include tax planning, probate, paying for care and NHS Continuing Care Funding.

 

Step 3: Create (or revise) an estate plan that enables the person with dementia and their family to rest assured that they've planned for every eventuality, including paying for care and end of life wishes ...

When you have dementia, or live with someone who has dementia, an unwritten code of cunduct often comes into practice: "control the controllables."

Our estate planners tell us that the people they have helped to plan for living with dementia (and their families) report positive increases in well-being and in managing some of the symptoms, once their plan is in place. We hope this article helps someone you know too. Before we sign off though, here's a roll call of the estate planning organisations that we know of so far who are doing something special for Dementia Awareness Week.

 

Wills

Active Wills 100% of profits from online Wills sold during Dementia Awareness Week donated to Alzheimer's Society.
Barcan & Kilby £20 for every Will requested during Dementia Awareness Week donated to Alzheimer's Brace.
Burroughs Brace £20 for every Will requested during Dementia Awareness Week donated to Alzheimer's Brace.  

 

Lasting Power of Attorney

 

Will Associates 10% of profit from LPAs bought during Dementia Awareness Week donated to Alzheimer's Society.
Wards Solicitors Free legal advice workshop about Lasting Powers of Attorney, 16th May, with Alzheimer's Brace.

 

Want to add a company to our tables above?

 

Do please get in touch ...

 

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