Dementia: Wrexham couple's financial nightmare

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

A DEVOTED partner trapped in a financial “nightmare” has urged people to arrange a power of attorney – before it is too late.

Ted Edwards’ long-term partner Patricia Weaver, 65, has dementia and is being cared for at Pendine Park nursing home in Stansty, Wrexham.

But Ted is out of work, in debt and unable to sell their £240,000 house because they did not make arrangements to give him power of attorney.

This would have ensured he had the legal right to sort out their financial affairs if she became incapacitated by her mental condition.

The house is in their joint names and having dementia means that Pat cannot sign anything.

Ted, 60, of Rossett, described the situation as a nightmare because he needs Pat’s permission to sell the house.

He explained: “Now she cannot sign anything and the house is in our joint names.

“I have been to see a solicitor but because of an eight-month backlog in the courts I’ve been told it will take about 12 months and cost around £800, which is difficult to save for when you have an income of £130 a week.”

The case highlights a warning given by solicitors Cyril Jones and Co, based in Wrexham and Shotton, who have appointed a dedicated expert, Sian Fisher, due to a boom in dementia cases.

Earlier this year the Leader reported how the region is becoming a social timebomb because of the estimated increase of dementia sufferers.

It’s estimated that 40,000 people suffer from dementia in Wales and that Wrexham alone will see a 60 per cent increase among over 75s up to 2021.

And it is a similar picture in Flintshire and Denbighshire.

Miss Fisher said: “As more and more people live longer the importance of appointing a lasting power of attorney increases but really it should be as much a part of making proper provision as making a will.

“It means that should you become unable to make decisions about your finances or your welfare then there is someone who can take over and that is very reassuring for families and their loved ones.

“As in Ted’s case, the lack of a power of attorney can have quite devastating and distressing consequences for families.”

Ted gets pension credit, but it is nowhere near enough to meet all his bills. The mortgage interest is being paid – but he does not know for how long – and he gets help with his council tax.

He added: “I did not realise that the laws governing power of attorney had changed in recent years and I think the Government should have made this clearer to people.

“My case is a warning to everyone; sort this out now because you never know what is around the corner.”

See full story in the Leader

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