Legal advice

Legal & financial help

Once a person has had a chance to adjust to a diagnosis it is important to take time to ensure their affairs are in order and that all essential documents can be easily found.

As dementia is progressive, it may become more difficult to make decisions or choices about financial or legal matters as time goes on. There are lots of things that can be done to make sure they can choose how to live now and in the future. These plans need to be made as early as possible with a trusted friend, family member or professional. It is important to choose someone who is likely to be able to offer support in the long term.

Things to consider include: details of bank accounts, tax, benefits and pension, as well as mortgage or rent documents, insurance policies and a will.

This ensures that, in the future, affairs will be set up in a way that individuals have chosen themselves. The Alzheimers Society have a range of good information that can be looked at here.

In summary it is important to address:

  • Legal & financial affairs
  • Benefits as well as benefits rates and savings thresholds
  • The Mental Capacity Act – people with dementia often become unable to make some decisions for themselves as their condition progresses. When this happens, the person is said to 'lack capacity'
  • Enduring and lasting power of attorney
  • Advance decisions
  • Personal budgets
  • Council Tax for which some people with dementia are eligible for a discount
  • Paying care home fees and when the local authority might pay these
  • Mental Health Act 1983 and guardianship
  • Deprivation of liberty safeguards