Plan Ahead by Martin Oates, Partner, Poole Townsend
There are around 750,000 people in the UK who suffer from dementia, for which there is no known cure. Dementia includes various disorders that result in loss of brain function. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.
All of our older clients are advised on how to safeguard their assets and how property and financial decisions and their medical and welfare choices will be made for them if they lose their ability to make those decisions and choices for themselves.
What planning can be done?
• Make sure you have an up-to-date and effective will.
• Use a Trust to facilitate control and protection of your assets.
• Put Lasting Powers of Attorney in place for financial and welfare decisions (see www.publicguardian.gov.uk for information).
If not enough planning has been done, it may be necessary to involve the Court of Protection or Office of the Public Guardian in circumstances where, for example, no Power of Attorney is in place. The Court will help to make difficult decisions and will also help to take care of the interests of vulnerable people by appointing someone as a Deputy to make decisions for them.
It is a sad fact that vulnerable clients will be taken advantage of and tell tale signs include-
• Forged signatures.
• Unexpected changes to wills and changes to the family lawyers. I am always suspicious when someone has used another lawyer for years and are then wheeled in to my office because they want to change their Will!
• Long lost relatives popping out of the woodwork.
• Isolation of the person from family and friends, often on the pretext that they are not fit or that they need to be ‘protected’.
• A standard of living below their previous lifestyle, which suggests that money is being spent elsewhere.
We will help to forward plan so that you appoint the people you trust, to make decisions for you, on the terms you want, and to protect you and your assets as much as possible. If you have concerns about the actions being taken on behalf of someone else, we can advise you on who can help and what rights that person has to be protected by the court.
At Poole Townsend we have a team of experts who deal with the above situation. Telephone Kelly Hill on (01229) 402241 for a free appointment without obligation to discuss the options.