Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Dementia Friends’ programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition. Recently two of our solicitors have become Dementia Friends…Kathryn Thornewill explains more.
Myself and my colleague, Natasha Thorne, have recently become Dementia Friends. A Dementia Friend learns a little bit more about what it is like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action. Franklins Solicitors LLP as an organisation are also helping to make more Dementia Friends with a number of our employees already becoming Dementia Friends. Natasha and I work in the Private Client team and we have found becoming a Dementia Friend really informative and useful, and would definitely recommend others to become involved.
1 in 79 people are diagnosed with Dementia
Dementia UK provides the most up-to-date evaluation of the numbers of people with dementia in the UK, projections on numbers of people in the future and the prevalence of dementia. According to their data, 1 in every 79 people of the entire UK population and 1 in every 14 people of the population aged 65 years and over will get dementia. Significantly, if current trends continue, the number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase by 40% over the next 12 years and 156% over the next 38 years.
So why are these statistics so important?
Through analysing the steady growth in dementia it highlights the importance of understanding Dementia and assisting those who are living with Dementia.
It also highlights the importance of getting your affairs in order. This could be through preparing a Will or putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place.
Essentially, Wills can only be put in place while you have the mental capacity to do so. Wills are important to ensure that your estate passes to those that you wish benefit and makes the administration of your estate easier for family members or friends left behind. In the event that you lose capacity to make a Will and do not have a valid Will in place when you pass away, the intestacy rules apply which means that you have no say in who benefits from your estate and could mean that family members who you do not wish to inherit from your estate, will.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
- Property and Finance; and
- Health and Welfare.
Importantly, both types of Lasting Power of Attorney can be used once the individual loses capacity, albeit the Property and Finance Lasting Power of Attorney can be used if the individual still has capacity but only if they authorise the Attorneys to use it.
What this means is that you can appointment a family member, friend or professional who you trust implicitly to deal with your Property and Finances and make decisions in respect of your Health and Welfare. Ultimately, this will ensure that the people you trust will have the authority to act on your behalf should you be unable to do so. This could be by, for example, by paying bills and managing your accounts, and make decisions about the care you receive.
The Attorney appointed in the Lasting Power of Attorney must always act in your best interests and, as far as possible, in line with your wishes expressed prior to losing capacity. Again, like Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney can only be prepared while you have the capacity to fully understand the document and appreciate its affect. Thus it is important to put Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney in place before it is too late. Essentially, this will ensure that your affairs are in order and will simplify matters for your family members or friends should you ever lose capacity or pass away.
If you would like some further assistance in preparing Wills or Lasting Powers of Attorney please get in touch on 01908 660966 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.