Whilst Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) are rising in popularity, latest figures show that fewer than 1 in 10 adults have drawn up one of these important documents.
An LPA is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your wishes, should you become unable to make financial or health decisions for yourself. There are two kinds of LPA, a Property & Financial Affairs LPA and a Health & Welfare LPA. Both deal with very different matters. However, according to the latest figures from the Office of the Public Guardian, there were only 1.4 million Financial LPAs registered in 2016, and 600,000 Health and Welfare LPAs.
People are living longer than ever before
In the UK, the number of people who reach their 85th birthday is expected to double by 2045, according to the Office of National Statistics. At the same time, the Alzheimer’s Society predicts that there will be more than two million people with Alzheimer’s by 2051.
With an increasing number of people set to live on into their eighties and nineties, we are likely to see a corresponding rise in people who are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. And, even where people trust that their family will look after them, without any guidance this can be hugely stressful for those left to do so (and cause disagreements between those closest to them).
The risks of dementia
Dementia diagnoses are on the increase; up by 50% in the last 11 years with the number of people currently estimated as suffering at 850,000 – including undiagnosed cases. Furthermore, of the 12.8 million British residents over the age of 65, it is estimated that one in 14 will develop dementia. With this in mind, although hard to face, it makes sense to propose that appointing a Health and Welfare Attorney is a routine decision.
However, understandably, reluctance to consider later life planning, especially for those in the busy throes of modern life, means that there are 12 million people at significant risk of dementia who have not made proper arrangements for their care in old age.
These figures only compound the suggestion that there is a lack of awareness about the importance of later life planning, and the stresses of dealing with an estate that has been subject to no prior planning. At The Fry Group we believe it is important to understand that later life planning means your wishes can be effectively fulfilled.
The benefits of an LPA
With an LPA, you appoint someone to act as your ‘attorney’ to look after your financial affairs, or make decisions about your care and medical attention when you are no longer able to do so yourself. You can also include specific instructions to help them make decisions you would approve of.
It is never too soon to start planning for later life, and indeed, starting early has the potential to save upset and additional stress at a later date. If you would like to discuss any aspect of later life planning with trusted experts, please do not hesitate to contact The Fry Group on 01903 231545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.