The significant increase in men and women with dementia has prompted a Shropshire solicitor to urge people to get Lasting Powers of Attorney in place so that both they and their loved ones are protected by the law.
Hannah Banks, whose areas of expertise include wills, probates and trusts, says that it is a simple but vital process to avoid possible heartache and trauma for families.
Mrs Banks, of county law firm Mortimers Solicitors, said: “With over a million people predicted to have dementia by 2021, drawing up Lasting Power of Attorney is extremely important as far as older adults especially are concerned.
“The onset of dementia can be a rapid process and many sufferers and their families are often in denial over the issue, so it is imperative to act as quickly as possible to avoid the lengthy and unpleasant process of having to go through the Court of Protection.
“There is not necessarily a right time to get Lasting Power of Attorney but the sooner the better because it’s important for everyone, not only the elderly.
“It means that if you are not able to deal with matters yourself, your loved ones will be able to make decisions on your behalf in relation to your health, personal welfare and finances.
“If a young, healthy person had a car accident which left them mentally unfit, it would be just as important for them to have someone who they would have already chosen acting in their best interests on their behalf.”
Mrs Banks said that if a person’s mental health had deteriorated too badly, families might find it is too late to get Lasting Power of Attorney.
“Going through a Court of Protection process can be an extremely lengthy, onerous process and often distressing and frustrating for families,” said Mrs Banks, who is based in Mortimers’ Shrewsbury office.
“But by getting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place in good time allows you to manage someone’s affairs without any real outside interference.”