Planning for the future at Christmas

19 December, 2018

Planning for the future at Christmas: a conversation people should try not to avoid

Christmas for many is a time spent catching up with their loved ones. It is possible that whilst you are enjoying the food, drink, music and conversation of the festive period that you may notice that some of your loved ones may show signs that they are beginning to struggle with their memory or capacity to make certain decisions.

YouGov polling reports 90% of individuals surveyed from the South East have no measures in place should they lose capacity to make decisions for themselves. This is something which needs to be addressed, given the ageing population and the prevalence of capacity related illnesses, such as dementia.

How to plan ahead

It can be very difficult knowing how to broach the subject of mental capacity with a loved one.  One option may be to raise the possibility of them planning ahead by putting in place documents to make life easier for them and to assist  those caring for them should they require help in the future.  

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document in which attorneys can be appointed to make decisions about financial affairs and health and care when the individual is unable to or, in the case of financial affairs, when the individual would rather someone else took on the day to day administrative burden. LPAs can be seen and introduced to your loved one as an insurance policy against problems which may arise in the future.

If capacity to manage financial affairs has already been lost and no power of attorney is in place another option is to approach the Court of Protection for an order appointing a Deputy to manage finances. Setting up LPAs is preferable, if possible, as applications to the Court can be expensive and time consuming.

Cripps Pemberton Greenish has launched new services to supplement LPAs, which are designed to support individuals should they lose mental capacity. The ‘My Choices’ packages have been developed to ensure that a person’s wishes, preferences and relevant information are communicated to carers and attorneys so they can relax in the knowledge that factors important to them, be it their diet, religious beliefs or favourite television programme, are clearly set out for those assisting them.

For more information about ‘My Choices’ please click here or contact us before 29 March 2019 to arrange a free consultation for you or a loved one to discuss powers of attorney.

If you would like to find out more about these products, or to speak to a legal expert on any mental capacity issues you or your family may be facing, please contact Nicola Hillyer on 01892 506 014 or email nicola.hillyer@crippspg.co.uk.