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Gap between those expected to get dementia and those with LPAs is “jaw dropping”

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By Laura Walkley

Just 7% of adults in Britain have created a Lasting Power of Attorney, a YouGov survey has revealed. This means that 93% have no formal arrangements in place allowing someone else to make decisions on their behalf in the event that they lose mental capacity. In the event that any of those 93% is unable to make decisions about their own affairs, someone – who has not been chosen by the person who lacks capacity – will have to apply to the Court of Protection for the relevant authority. That process is more complex, expensive and time-consuming than putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, and those factors generally mean extra stress at what may already be a difficult time.

This figure of 7% is quite frankly jaw dropping when compared to the following statistics from the Alzheimer’s Society regarding dementia and an aging population:

  • 1 in 20 people aged 65+ have dementia
  • 1 in 6 people 80+ have dementia

  • 1 in 3 people will have dementia by the time they die

And of course, a loss of capacity can be caused by a huge range of things other than dementia – an accident or injury can befall any of us at any time.

Lasting Powers of Attorney allow you to nominate the person or people whom you would want to make decisions for you should the need arise. You can specify whether you want them to be able to make choices about your property and finances, your health and welfare, or both. You can give guidance about anything which is particularly important to you. They will be obliged always to act in your best interests.

Your Lasting Power of Attorney can be officially registered as soon as it has been signed, which means that it is ready to use straightaway should the need ever arise. Your loved ones will not be faced with further difficulties managing your affairs if you are ever unable to do this; should they be required to communicate with (for example) Social Services or your bank on your behalf, they will be armed with the proper authority to counter the inevitable layers of bureaucracy.

Sadly, there is a great deal of superstition and misinformation surrounding this type of thing. The fact remains that granting a Power of Attorney, or not, won’t prompt or prevent illness or injury - it will just mean that things are very much easier for the people who care about you if they ever need to help you in this way. It isn’t just for the elderly, either; unfortunately, any one of us can be involved in an accident or experience unexpected health issues.

Granting a Lasting Power of Attorney is an important decision. We can help you through the process so that you have the security of knowing that your affairs are in order should the worst happen.

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