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Date: 01/11/2017

Older married couples in the West Midlands are being urged to ensure they are protected from the legal implications of rising rates of dementia.

Respected family lawyer Gurdip Kaur Brring is concerned that as the population ages, and dementia becomes more prevalent, couples in the county will find their finances and assets swallowed up in care bills, even if one of them does not succumb to the illness.
More than 850,000 in the UK have dementia, which is now a bigger cause of death than heart disease. The number is set to rise to over 1 million by 2025.
Ms Brring, a partner at law firm mfg Solicitors said dementia, sometimes called the “long goodbye”, was putting pressure on sufferers and their families, who have to go through the pain of watching a loved one deteriorate as well as arranging their care.
The shared assets can also end up being used to fund the care for the sufferer, leaving the healthy carer with little to pass on themselves.
Ms Kaur Brring said: “Dementia affects thousands of families every year and the multitude of financial problems the disease can bring are extensive.
“Many fail to spot just how much of their money will be swallowed up by care bills and some are now even considering divorce in order to protect their assets. Even though the couple will still love each and want to be together, that is the harsh reality of the steps people are taking to protect themselves.
“A softer option people can also take is a judicial separation, which allows matrimonial assets to be divided and means previous wills become invalid. But the benefit is this allows the carer a clean slate and means their own assets are not swallowed up in care bills for their husband or wife.”
Ms Brring added that couples needed to discuss what they wanted to do to protect their assets and, if possible, make arrangements while they are both still healthy.
mfg Solicitors has five offices across the region in Worcestershire and Shropshire.
For advice about judicial separation due to dementia, readers can contact Gurdip Kaur Brring at mfg Solicitors by emailing or calling 01905 610410.