Court of Protection
Deputyship orders and being a Deputy
Is it too late to make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
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We're often asked at what point it's 'too late' to make a Lasting Power of Attorney. Some people mistakenly assume that as soon as someone has received a diagnosis of dementia, they can no longer sign the Lasting Power of Attorney paperwork. That's not necessarily the case. It depends whether or not the person has lost mental capacity. A diagnosis of dementia alone does not necessarily mean that someone has lost mental capacity.
Having mental capacity is about having the ability to make decisions for yourself. Many people in the early stages of dementia are perfectly capable of making decisions, even if they do occasionally get confused or forget things.
Some people with dementia are capable of making certain decisions and not others.
If you think the person in question still has mental capacity despite their diagnosis, it is strongly advisable to obtain medical evidence of this (for example, a letter from the person's GP) before approaching a lawyer to make a Lasting Power of Attorney. It is also advisable not to delay in making the Lasting Power of Attorney as the progression can worsen rapidly. If the person loses mental capacity before the document has been finalised, Deputyship Order will be necessary and these are far more expensive to obtain. Speak to a law firm to see if making an LPA is still a possibility.
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