When you start your dementia journey it can be hard to think about the future, but preparing for a time when you may not be able to make decisions yourself is a good idea. You may want to talk to your family and loved ones about taking control over your finances and health decisions. This is called Lasting Power of Attorney.
Navigating the ins and outs of the Lasting Power of Attorney paperwork can be overwhelming, so we’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you understand the process.
- Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) forms can either be accessed online, or via post by calling the Office of the Public Guardian on 0300 456 0300, who will send the forms.
- Depending on your requirements, there are two different forms, one is a property and finance LPA and the other is a health and welfare LPA.
- Forms can be filled in online and printed, or printed and then completed by hand.
- You must fill in all sections (there are 15 on each form), using the continuation sheets for extra information, additional attorneys and preferences and instructions on how you would like decisions to be made.
- These preferences and instructions are an important aspect of the form. A preference is what you’d like your attorneys to think about when making decisions, but they do not have to follow them. E.g. I’d prefer to be moved to sheltered accommodation rather than a care home. When the time comes for the move, sheltered accommodation may no longer be appropriate for your situation, so your attorney would be allowed to make that decision.
- Instructions are what your attorneys must Consider these carefully as they can be quite restrictive and cause problems further down the line. E.g. My attorneys must only move me to a care home within a one-mile radius of my current property. This request may cause problems for your attorneys when trying to locate a suitable care home.
- Within the forms there is a section on gifts. Attorneys have strict limits on the kind of gifts they can give on your behalf. For example, they cannot authorise trust funds but they can donate to charities that you have previously given to.
- Whether you are using a professional or a non-professional as one of your attorneys, you may make the decision to pay them. If so, you will need to state this in the form.
- You can also include a list of up to five people as ‘people to notify’. This has been introduced as a safe guarding measure. These are people who you want notified about the LPA. They must be people who know you and are able to raise any concerns about your LPA, especially if they think you are being forced to create the LPA under pressure. Any objections to the LPA going ahead must be based on factual or prescribed grounds.
- Once you have completed the form, it must be signed by the relevant people in the correct order. This is:
- The Donor (You)
- Certificate Provider (The person that confirms you understand what you are doing and have chosen to do so with your own free will. This cannot be a family member but they have to have known you for 2 years, e.g. your doctor)
- Attorneys and replacement attorneys
Witnesses will need to be used.
- The forms then need to be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian. The Office of the Public Guardian will wait four weeks to give the ‘people to notify’ time to object to the LPA if they wish. Once that time has passed, the LPA will be officially registered.
For more information, visit the Office of Public Guardians website, or call them on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0300 456 0300.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with dementia, then ensuring that you undertake regular activities will not only help exercise the brain, but also encourage interaction and conversation. At Active Minds we have created a range of sensory activities for dementia patients, designed to help stimulate personal memories. Our sensory activities are an innovative and creative way of using multiple sense to spark conversation with people that would otherwise have been impossible to reach.