What are the legal implications of Dementia
Oct 8, 2015
Dementia currently affects over 850,000 people in the UK, and that figure is set to rise. If you've recently been diagnosed or are caring for someone with dementia then it's important to understand the legal aspects of dementia as well as the treatment and help available.
Do I need to consent to medical treatment?
The principle of consent is central to medical practice in the UK and must be voluntary and informed. Doctors cannot go ahead with treatment against the wishes of the person concerned. However, if the patient is judged to be incapable of making a decision under the Mental Capacity Act then doctors are free to act in the patient’s best interests.
Can I appoint someone else to make decisions for me?
Yes; this is called power of attorney. You can grant a trusted friend or relative Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) over matters relating to your property or financial affairs and health and welfare while you are still of sound mind. The LPA for welfare can only be used after someone has lost mental capacity.
The two powers of attorney can be vested in the same person or split between two individuals, but they must be legally registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Can I make a Will?
A Will must be made while in sound mind and be formally witnessed and signed. Make sure your executor knows where your Will is kept. It is always best to seek professional legal advice when making a Will or when entering into any of the arrangements described above.
Our Private Client team understand and are on hand to help talk you through your options.
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