More than one third of people admit to not having any provisions in place for later life, such as writing a will or creating a Lasting Power of Attorney.
An LPA is defined as a legal document that lets you appoint someone to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf and this gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and can’t make your own decisions.
With an LPA:
– You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity;
– You can choose more than one attorney;
– The LPA can be a family member, spouse, friend, partner, civil partner or a professional (such as a solicitor).
A recent report has been published in conjunction with the Centre For Future Studies whereby research shows that 12.8 million people over the age of 65 run the risk of developing dementia and lacking mental capacity, yet there are only 928,000 LPAs currently registered. Following on from this report, by 2025 around 13.2 million people may be at risk with no LPA in place and no one to make decisions on their behalf.
The charity Age UK have also advised that an LPA should be set up well in advance, allowing you to specify what decisions you are happy to be made on your behalf.
Planning ahead for our health and also letting people around us such as friends and family know our wishes should not be seen as doom and gloom. Now is the time for people to have positive conversations about welfare and empower our loved ones by making the decision-making process easier for everyone, rather than making the topic a ‘taboo’ area of conversation.
If you feel you would like some more information regarding wills or a LPA, please do not hesitate to contact us for expert advice.
Courtney Hawkins, Trainee Solicitor