Shields Gazette - Legal Questions and Answers

23 Mar 2017

Q.My mother has just been diagnosed with early onset dementia and I am concerned about how I can look after her legal affairs if she becomes incapable of making her own decisions. What can I do now to ensure that her affairs are properly looked after when this happens?

A.Many people with dementia will eventually reach a point where they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves – this is known as lacking ‘mental capacity’. When this happens, someone else – often a carer or family member – will need to make decisions on their behalf.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal tool that gives another adult, such as yourself, the legal authority to make certain decisions for your mother, if she becomes unable to make them herself. The person who is given this authority is known as an ‘attorney’. They can manage her finances, or make decisions relating to her health and welfare.  It is important to make an LPA sooner rather than later because, if your mother loses her mental capacity, an application to the Court of Protection to apply for a Deputyship Order will have to be made in order to allow you to make decisions on your mother’s behalf; which is a much more expensive process.

For more information on what an LPA is and why you might consider making one, contact Bill Dryden, Partner at PGS Law, on 0191 456 0281 to arrange an appointment or alternateively, please use the contact form on the right hand side of this page.

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