THIS week is Dementia Action Week, and if you have a family member living with dementia, you may need to manage their finances for them. But it’s easier if a Power Of Attorney is in place — and you can plan ahead now to save yourself and your family worry in future. Here’s an outline of how Power Of Attorney works:

? It is a legal document that gives someone else authority to make financial and/or health or welfare decisions on your behalf.

? There are two types — a General or Ordinary Power Of Attorney gives someone permission to make financial decisions and is valid when you have mental capacity. A Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA) gives someone else authority to make decisions in future if you can’t or don’t want to. This can cover both health and finances.

? Your attorney or attorneys (the person or people who take on the decision-making responsibility under the Power Of Attorney arrangement) must be over 18 and can be family, friends, spouse or partner, or solicitor.

? A signed LPA agreement must be registered with the Office Of Public Guardian. This takes eight to ten weeks.

? If someone has lost mental capacity then they are unable to make a LPA. In this case, you can apply for a Deputyship Order from the Court of Protection in England and Wales.