A few months ago we introduced the topic of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Known as “LPAs” these documents allow you to appoint someone to act on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so yourself. They are important documents, designed to safeguard your wishes and give you peace of mind that someone you know and trust will look after your affairs when you are unable to do so yourself.
A recent report published by Solicitors for the elderly has highlighted that an increasing number of the population over the age of 65 have not put anything in place to protect their interests in the event of incapacity.
As a result of research by Age UK and the Alzheimer’s Society they are warning of a forthcoming ‘incapacity crisis’ as one third of people admit to having not made any provision for the administration of their affairs in later life.
The research estimates that by 2025 around 13.2 million people will be at risk of losing capacity, but only 2.2 million LPAs are expected to be registered. This statistic prompted this article.
A spokesperson for the research group said
“Planning ahead by talking to family or friends shouldn’t be seen as doom and gloom, it’s about having a positive conversation about welfare, empowering your loved ones and making the decision-making process easier for everyone."
It can be difficult to even broach the topic of incapacity but it shouldn’t be ignored and needs to be included in open and honest discussions with family and friends. You might find it easier to speak to your solicitor first, to get a better understanding of what it’s all about and we can help with that. Whether it be an informal chat about the process or more detailed discussions.
There is a lot to think about; from who to appoint to decisions about end of life care. However, having practiced in this area for many years, it is safe to say that the process of going through the application is an excellent catalyst to getting your affairs in order and being in control.
In the absence of an LPA, retrospective applications to a branch of the Court system called the Court of Protection could be required. The Court then appoints an attorney known as a Deputy and in some cases this may not have been the person you would have picked to manage your affairs.
Please pick up the phone and give us a call on 01228 552222 if you want to discuss any aspect of this article.