My father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  How can I help him manage his affairs?

1 May 2020 | Suzanna Baker

To assist someone with their affairs (whether related to their finances or to health matters), you must hold the legal powers to do so. The route you / your family member will need to take will depend on the mental capacity of the person you are seeking to help.

So what are the options?

They could enter into a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This is a legal document that allows them to choose someone to make decisions on their behalf about their property and financial affairs and/or their health and welfare, at a time when they are unable to make those decisions themselves. In order to enter into an LPA, they must have the requisite mental capacity to do so. Whilst a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or indeed another illness may affect someone’s ability to make decisions, they could still have the requisite mental capacity to enter into an LPA. Therefore, confirmation of mental capacity should be determined in the first instance, if necessary by a medical practitioner.

The process of obtaining an LPA involves the completion of an application form that needs to be registered with the Office of Public Guardian.

If it has been confirmed that your loved one does not have the requisite mental capacity to enter into an LPA, then an application to the Court of Protection will need to be made on their behalf so that you can be appointed as their Deputy. This is a more lengthy application process, which includes the requirement of a formal medical report.

Whichever route is taken, action to progress matters should start sooner rather than later. We would be delighted to assist you with the preparation of the necessary application forms and take you through the process together.

Can you still help us during the Covid-19 restrictions?

Yes, certainly. We can still take instructions, provide you with legal advice and assist with the preparation of the requisite applications on your behalf during these uncertain times.

Blog post written by Suzanna Baker,  solicitor in the Private Client team

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