According to the Alzheimer’s Society, managing the financial affairs of a family member with dementia is becoming increasingly complicated, and the charity has advised people to draw up lasting powers of attorney to ensure that the right decisions are made on their behalf if they are unable to do so in old age.
Lasting power of attorney provides reassurance for individuals and families in the event of dementia, mental decline, or physical injury leaving someone unable to communicate their financial and legal intentions. Often deemed ‘a living will’, lasting power of attorney enables you to appoint a representative to handle your affairs should you find yourself in a position where you are not able to do so yourself.
Lasting powers of attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian in order to be recognised, though some carers still experience difficulties in having their authority respected by banks and financial institutions. In the case of dementia, financial situations can be especially complicated for carers and families and many people find it can be impossible to access bank accounts on behalf of a relative.
Hannah Clack, a spokeswoman from the Alzheimer’s Society explained the enduring confusion surrounding the legal tool: ”Calls to our helpline about problems with lasting powers of attorney are going up week on week. It’s outrageous as we know this is really unfair, it’s an extra kick in the teeth when they don’t need it.
“All banks and all financial institutions need to get on board, they need to be geared up to tackle this challenge and make sure they have the systems in place to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.”
The British Bankers’ Association says the industry is currently working on a new code of practice with the Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, the Law Society and the Office of the Public Guardian to provide a better service for customers with lasting powers of attorney acting on behalf of another. The aim is to make the procedures related to powers of attorney much clearer for families and carers in order to reduce stressful experiences with finances and savings.
If you’re based in the Maidenhead or Beaconsfield area, our solicitors at Frances Lindsay & Co can help you to draw up a will and powers of attorney according to your personal circumstances and help you to find a solution to simplify future finances if the worst should happen.lasting power of attorney, lasting powers of attorney for people with dementia, making a will, solicitor Berkshire, solicitor Buckinghamshire, wills and probate Beaconsfield, wills and probate Maidenhead