Combating Dementia in the Chelmsford, Southend and Basildon Area

Combating Dementia in the Chelmsford, Southend, Basildon Area
 
This week is national Dementia Week. If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know we hope that this article will be useful to you.
 
Dementia is on the rise in Chelmsford, Basildon, Southend, in fact not just in Essex but across England and Wales. In the last year, some 225,000 were registered with Dementia. The Alzheimers society predicts by 2025 this will rise to over 1 million.
 
1 in 5 people over 85 have Dementia but figures suggest that this will raise to 1 in 3 of over 70s.
 
The law is there to protect you if you are considered vulnerable but that same law can also work against you if you do not take advantage of it sooner rather than later.
 
The government recommends that every person in the UK over 18 should have in place a Lasting Power of Attorney as well as a Will in the same way they would be expected to have life insurance. It should be that commonplace, however, most people are not aware of the implications of needing but not having a Lasting Power of Attorney.
 
Most people think it is something just for the over 65s. Of course whilst this group of people is statistically more likely to need a Lasting power of attorney anyone at any age has the ability to lose capacity and be deemed vulnerable, whereby a Lasting Power of Attorney would be applicable.
 
The case of Michael and Heather Bateman was highlighted on the BBC 1s One show. The harrowing details are highlighted below.
 
Heather Bateman was married to her Husband Michael for 28 years. He was an energetic man in his 50s when he was hit by a car and was placed into a coma. Heather, like most people, had not really heard nor understood about the implications of a Lasting Power of Attorney but was to soon find out the hard way.
 
Heather and Michael both had wills. They had separate bank accounts and most of the bills were paid from Michael's account. They had 2 properties and both were on the deeds to each property but now in order to continue to survive and pay these bills Heather needed access to Michaels bank account.
 
Heather found herself at the citizens advice bureau and then from there heard for the first time the words “you need to approach the Court of protection."
 
Heather describes the Court of protection as “an alien, intrusive, time-consuming and costly institution, which was completely out of tune with what we were going through."
 
Because Heather and Michael did not already have Lasting powers of Attorney in place, Heather was unable to access Michaels accounts and rather than be an Attorney, which would have made life a lot simpler, she had to apply to the Court of Protection to become a Deputy.
 
This process took months to arrange, all the while heather had to survive without having access to their money in Michaels accounts. Furthermore, it became very expensive.

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Heather recounts that “on the day that I received the ability to access the account I received a bill, requiring immediate payment, from the court of protection for £460. This though was just the first payment. Over 2 and a half years whilst Michael was in a coma, Heather spent over £3000 in maintaining her deputyship.
 
To compound matters, the court of protection also put a spending cap of £500 on the amount that Heather could spend from the account and on one occasion their daughter needed £1000 for her University tuition fees from which Heather had to ask permission to be granted by the Court of Protection to be able to pay from the account.
 
After 3 years of being in a coma, Michael eventually died without regaining consciousness. Heather was naturally filled with grief but also with relief. She was finally free from the confines of the Court of Protection.
 
All of that could have been avoided, though. Had Michael and Heather not only completed their wills but also had taken out Lasting Powers of Attorney in advance of the accident, Heather would have been appointed as his Attorney and would not have to have applied to become his Deputy.
 
This would have not only saved time and stress but would have saved thousands of pounds in additional costs.
 
On the 18th May 2016, the Daily Mail ran an article on the implications of the Lasting Power of Attorneys.
 
They highlighted a story of when things went correctly.
 
For their entire 61-year marriage, Tony and Joan Venner managed their money separately. Each had their own successful career and their own bank account.
 
Joan, under her maiden name Llewelyn Owens, was a successful author of career advice books for women, while Tony was a civil engineer.
 
But when Joan’s dementia deteriorated in March last year and she needed to go into a care home, Tony, 94, realised it was time for him to take charge.
 
Fortunately, Tony and Joan then aged 95, had previously thought to set up Power of Attorney, which gave him the legal authority to manage her financial affairs.
 
The difference in the two stories is remarkable purely for having the foresight to put in place this valuable document.
 
The Daily mail also went on in the article to say that the average cost of a Lasting Power of Attorney costs between 600-800 pounds and then a further 110 pounds to register it with the Office of the Public Guardian.
 
However, we are a company that specialises in England and Wales with such matters. With Specialist advisors in Essex, the Will Associates offer Lasting Powers of Attorneys 25-40% cheaper than the average prices quoted in the Daily Mail.
 
Having a Lasting Power of Attorney should be an easy decision for everyone. They are as important as any insurance policy. There when needed.
 
To find out more about the service offered by The Will Associates, you can contact their local consultant for the South Essex region.
 
Richard is contactable on freephone 0800 847 7030 or you can email him on richard.morris@willassociates.co.uk 
 
To keep up to date with the latest blogs and advice, feel free to visit the facebook page Will Associates – South East
 
We truly hope that you have found this article useful.