According to the latest figures, while they are rising in popularity, fewer than 1 in 10 adults have made a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
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 Personal 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. At the same time, the Alzheimer’s Society predicts that there will be more than two million people with Alzheimer’s by 2051.
As such, the prospect of being unable to make decisions in later life is one which more of us will have to consider. So, it is more important than ever to plan for later life.
However, while the number of LPAs is rising quickly, many people are failing to make a LPA because they are unsure about what it involves and why it is needed.
The importance of end of life planning
With an increasing number of seniors 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).
An LPA can go some way towards managing this problem. With an LPA, you appoint a trusted relative or friend to become an ‘attorney’ and 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.
Don’t leave it too late
However, when it comes to making sure you are fully protected, planning in advance is crucial. It is not a good idea to wait until you are losing capacity to make an LPA as that could be too late (and you never know when that might happen). Instead, it makes sense to do so when you are still able to understand and sign the document yourself.
To protect yourself if you become unable to manage your financial affairs, and to make informed decisions about your long-term health arrangements, speak to one of our expert team by calling 01634 353 658 or email [email protected]om.