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World Alzheimer's Day - 21st September 2019

View profile for Rebecca Danks
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21st September 2019 is World Alzheimer’s Day which aims to increase awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia around the world. I felt that this was an apt time to discuss some of the legal aspects affecting those people living with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia. Dementia is the broad term used to describe a number of different conditions affecting the brain.  Nearly 50 million people are living with dementia worldwide and 850,000 of those living in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over a million by 2025, therefore it is very likely that all of us will be affected in one way or another during our lifetime. With people living longer, the numbers of people suffering from dementia are increasing. It is important that we all take the time to consider our futures and whether appropriate protection is in place.

When considering lifetime planning, most people immediately think of making a Will. Whilst a Will protects our assets after death, it is equally as important to consider how we can look after our property and finances, as well as our own personal welfare during our lifetime. This is where Lasting Powers of Attorney come in. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf at a time when you cannot. There are two types of LPA - the first allows you to appoint attorneys to deal with your property and financial affairs, the second covers decisions relating to your health and personal welfare. There is also an option to allow your attorneys to make decisions relating to life-sustaining treatment on your behalf.

Often LPA's are not considered a priority and are put off for another day. As they can only be put in place whilst a person is of sound mind, it is often the case that by the time an LPA becomes a priority, it is too late. An LPA becomes invaluable where a person is diagnosed with dementia. If no LPA is in place, an application may need to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy to act on your behalf. Unfortunately, these applications can be expensive and take some time to be sorted out at an already emotional and difficult time for your nearest and dearest. An LPA will provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Mike Downey, Director and Head of Lifetime Planning in South East Wales recently completed his Dementia Champion training. This training provided Mike with invaluable insight and skills in assisting people diagnosed with dementia.

Should you wish to discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney or an application to the Court of Protection with a member of the Lifetime Planning team then please contact us here:

  • Swansea: 01792 773773
  • Cardiff: 02920 225472
  • Carmarthen: 01267 234022
  • Caerphilly: 02920 860628
  • Cowbridge: 01446 771742
  • Haverfordwest: 01437 764723
  • Fishguard: 01348 873671

Rebecca joined JCP Solicitors in January 2019 after gaining experience of Trusts and Estate Administration, Probate and Lasting Powers of Attorney at another firm. Rebecca qualified as a Solicitor in September 2013 and has worked in the area of Lifetime Planning since September 2014. After qualification, Rebecca also spent 10 months working overseas whilst working for a law firm in an agricultural town in New Zealand. A full STEP member and holder of a STEP diploma, Rebecca studied LLB Law with French at Cardiff University and spent a year abroad at Universite de Toulouse. Rebecca graduated in 2006 before then going on to study her LPC at the University Of West of England, Bristol, passing with distinction in 2009.