The dementia guide: Planning ahead
Planning ahead: Financial matters
Once you have had a chance to adjust to your diagnosis, take time to ensure your affairs are in order. It's important to make sure that all your essential documents can be found easily.
Things to think about include: details of your bank accounts, tax, benefits and pension, as well as mortgage or rent documents, insurance policies and your will.
It may become more difficult for you to make decisions or choices about financial or legal matters as time goes on. There are lots of things you can do to make sure you get to choose how you live now and in the future. Where possible, make these plans as early as you can with a trusted friend, family member or professional (choose someone who is likely to be able to support you as time goes on).
Direct debitsIf they aren't already in place, consider setting up direct debits for regular payments such as gas and electricity bills. That way they will get paid automatically and may also be cheaper.
Bank accountsDuring the later stages of dementia, the bank might advise couples who have joint bank accounts to have separate accounts. This can make some things simpler. Benefits and pensions, for example, can be paid directly into your account. Any means-testing for benefits will be more straightforward too if the accounts are separate.
If you need or want someone else to deal with your account, you can arrange a 'third-party mandate' to allow this. You will need to fill in a form from the bank to set this up. The mandate will not apply in the future if you reach a point where you no longer have capacity (ability) to make decisions for yourself. See Lasting Power of Attorney for information on how to arrange for someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf in the future.
Debit and credit cardsIf you have memory problems, you may find it difficult to remember PIN numbers for debit or credit cards that have a 'chip and PIN' device. Talk to the bank about alternatives, such as a 'chip and signature' card.
If you have property or savings, you might set up a trust. This will ensure things are managed the way you have chosen, now and in the future. Seek advice from a solicitor or financial adviser.
For more information see factsheet 467, Financial and legal affairs
Watch our video of The dementia guide: Planning ahead (duration 9:11)