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Coping With Alzheimer’s and Dementia With Lasting Power of Attorney

What would be the implications for your family and other dependents if accident or illness rendered you mentally incapacitated? This is a horrible question to have to ask yourself but sadly an important one nonetheless. People usually associate a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) with terminal illness or old age but the unexpected can strike when you least expect it. Yes, all this sounds very depressing. But knowing that your loved ones will be fine, if you were incapacitated, will provide the peace of mind and it will put aside all such negative thoughts and focus on enjoying your life.

Typical issues for mental incapacity will be Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The occurrence of dementia in Singapore, those aged 65 years and above in year 2005 was 22,000. By 2020 it is projected the figure will increase to 53,000 and by 2050 the projected figure will further increase to 187,000.

This can be particularly distressing for the families of sufferers. But in such situations, if a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) has been established, a friend or relative can at least act on behalf of the sufferer to ensure that financial affairs are managed.

It makes sense to give consideration to establishing an LPA at the same time as you create your Will as much of the required activity is very similar. Like creating a Will, if left too late, friends and relatives who need to carry out any financial affairs for the sufferer must nominate a Proxy Decision Maker which will be appointed through the court. This can be a long and expensive procedure.

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