Financial Considerations


Financial considerations - making a will

A will is a confidential document setting out someone’s wishes around what happens to their money, property and possessions after they die. If someone dies without a will the law sets out who gets what.

Making a will doesn’t have to be an expensive process and the Government website www.gov.uk/make-will has lots of information. People can write their wills themselves, however it is a legal document, so it is important to seek specialist legal advice.

If there is a new will, or there is no trace of a will, your family will need to address the issue whether the person with dementia has ‘testamentary capacity’ to make a new one. Where there is any doubt about that capacity a GP can be asked to assess it. If medical opinion is that testamentary capacity is lacking then an application can be made to the Court of Protection for a ‘statutory will’.

A statutory will is essentially a will that is prepared on someone’s behalf, with terms that are believed to be in their best interests. The Court of Protection then considers the will and the wishes and feelings of those people who would otherwise inherit and decides whether to approve the will. This process can be very complex and it’s advisable to seek advice from a specialist solicitor to make this type of application in all cases.

Benefits

There are a number of State benefits that you and your family may be able to apply for. These could include:

  • Personal Independence Payments;
  • Disability Living Allowance;
  • Attendance Allowance;
  • Carers Allowance;
  • Council Tax reductions;
  • Income Support;
  • Pension Credit;
  • Savings Credit.

It is important to have a full benefit check and make sure the situation is reviewed occasionally - especially as dementia symptoms progress. Local support organisations may be able to help you carry out a full benefits check, these may be carer support groups, dementia groups or Citizens Advice.

Further information

These are only some of the legal and financial considerations for caring for someone living with dementia. There are other considerations - the requirement for formal care or support and how this may be paid for.