Being dementia aware
Dementia has become the biggest single cause of death in England and Wales in 2016, overtaking heart disease. Whilst this disease is widely feared, few people make any preparation for it affecting them.
Most assume that the disease only impacts very old people, but that just isn’t true. Terry Pratchett, a well-known sufferer, died aged 66, seven years after revealing he had a rare form of the disease.
Some positive steps are being made. For instance, ‘Dementia Friends’ is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative which aims to educate about dementia and helps provide companionship to sufferers. Already, the scheme has reached two million people and aims for four million come 2020.
However, there is still a worrying lack of knowledge about how to financially plan for dementia. Whilst this can feel like a morbid way of thinking, it is purely common sense.
Far too often, people have not taken the basic, essential steps of writing a Will or creating Powers of Attorney.
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney your family cannot make decisions about your care and well-being. Nor can they decide how your finances are managed until a court appointment has been made. In the meantime, the decisions are left to strangers.
Your wealth has taken years of hardwork, careful planning and smart management. You may well see yourself as the guardian of your family’s wealth. Do you really want these decisions to be left to strangers?
If the answer is no, then I suggest it’s time to act – no matter your age. If you need to find a trusted adviser to draw up your Will and Powers of Attorney I’m happy to make a recommendation.