A diagnosis of young onset dementia may come at a time in life when you are working and have significant financial obligations such as a mortgage, credit card bills and loans. You may also have children who are still financially dependent.
Read more about how to manage financial and legal matters now and in the future.
Some people with young onset dementia continue to work with adjustments to their workplace or role, but others may stop work sooner than they had planned.
You may choose to reduce your hours, change your role or stop work completely if you care for someone who has young onset dementia.
Dementia is classified in England, Wales and Scotland as a disability in the Equality Act 2010, and in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in Northern Ireland. This means a person with a dementia diagnosis has legal protection from discrimination at work. Read more about this in our leaflet on employment and young onset dementia.
If you care for someone who needs assistance with applying for or managing benefits, you can apply to the Department of Work and Pensions to become their appointee. This allows you to manage their benefits for them. To find out more visit gov.uk/ become-appointee-for-someone-claiming-benefits
It can be difficult to manage your finances, especially if your income suddenly drops. In addition, dementia sometimes changes the way people behave with money – for example, they may gamble, spend impulsively, purchase items that are not needed or become vulnerable to scams.
These suggestions may help you:
Set up standing orders or direct debits for all your regular bills
Prepaid cards can be a good choice if you want to keep an eye on a person’s spending
Joint bank accounts can be useful but be aware that each person is liable for the other’s debts
Set a withdrawal limit on your bank accounts and reduce your credit limit on bank and credit cards
If you have multiple bank accounts, consider closing some so they are easier to manage
Keep a record of your income and regular outgoings to limit overspending
Consider signing up for online banking – it can make it easier to keep track of your finances
Keeping your money separate in personal accounts can be beneficial if one of you applies for a means-tested Personal Budget or requires paid care
If you do not feel able to manage your finances, ask someone you trust to help or consider getting professional advice as soon as possible. Do not ignore letters if you get into difficulties. Seek advice from a qualified financial adviser who is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority: visit fca.org.uk
Deputyship under the Court of Protection If you care for someone with dementia who lacks the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves, but you don’t have LPA, the Court of Protection may appoint you as the person’s ‘deputy’ and give you permission to make one-off or ongoing decisions on their behalf.
A Will ensures that your money and possessions are left to the people or charities of your choosing after your death, and every adult should have one. If you don’t have a Will and have been diagnosed with dementia, you should make one as soon as possible.
Although you can write your own Will, it is recommended that you seek legal advice from a solicitor or Will writer to make sure your wishes are interpreted in the way you want.
If you already have a Will and have been diagnosed with dementia, it is advisable to review it to make sure it reflects the changes in your circumstances and your current wishes.