Alzheimer's case highlights need for a LPA

by Gemma Roskell

The importance of obtaining a lasting power of attorney has been highlighted by the case of an elderly couple who were charged £44,400 by lawyers after developing Alzheimer's disease.

According to the Daily Mail, Feliks and Rosemary Zakrzewski both suffered from dementia, but because they had not appointed anyone to make financial decisions on their behalf, responsibility for their money was given to a solicitor.

Charges of £200 an hour added up to almost £19,000 in just ten months, while the couple themselves were given just £100 of their own money to spend over a four-month period.

Since solicitors are only answerable to their clients, the couple's daughter Antoinette Tricker, whom they lived with from 2005 until their deaths in 2007 and 2009, was powerless to intervene.

Had the family obtained a lasting power of attorney prior to the couple's Alzheimer's diagnosis, Ms Tricker, or another friend or relative, would have been able to act on their behalf.

Offering words of advice for other families, she said: "Dementia can strike at any time. Plan ahead and get a lasting power of attorney before you too are sucked into this costly world."

Published on: April 29, 2010

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