Dementia Awareness Week – Why Create a Lasting Power of Attorney?

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We found an interesting article on www.mortgageintroducer.com this week reporting that Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) applications are set to rise by 12% this year. Undoubtedly this makes sense as more and more of us have ever complicated financial affairs later in life.

Increased financial flexibility as a result of pension freedoms combined with the growing equity release market added to the tough reality of increasing cases of dementia (highlighted by Dementia Awareness Week) means that Lasting Powers of Attorney are more important than ever before.

Around 800,000 people in the UK are living with diagnosed Dementia and by 2014 these figures are expected to have doubled. Undoubtedly, there are probably many more people with early onset dementia who may not be within the diagnosed numbers but equally need support from those closest to them to manage their affairs.

Government figures show approximately 14,250 applications have been made to the Court of Protection over the past 3 years to appoint deputies to make financial or health decisions for incapacitated people who did not have LPA’s. Applying for deputyship through the courts is a costly and lengthy process and the people who you think would ultimately be empowered to act on your behalf, may not be provided with the authority you think they should have.

Not sure what an LPA does?  In a nutshell, there are 2 types of LPA’s – Property & Affairs and Health & Welfare.

Property & Affairs LPA

This LPA type covers the your property and money matters, such as;

  • Using your bank and building society current and savings accounts
  • Claiming, receiving and using your benefits, pensions and allowances
  • Paying your household, care and other bills
  • Buying or selling your home
  • Saving or making and selling investments

Health & Welfare LPA

This LPA covers health and care decisions such as;

  • Where you live
  • Your day-to-day routine
  • Your personal care
  • Your medical treatments

Your attorney is obligated to help you reach your own decisions if you can. They can’t decide for you just because they think your decisions are odd or unwise. The law says that your attorney must assume that you can make decisions unless it’s shown that you can’t i.e. a lack of mental capacity when a mind or brain problem stops a person making a specific decision when they need to.

Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney doesn’t mean that you are immediately signing away control of your personal affairs. It means that you are appointing someone you know and trust to take care of you as and when you need it most.

Would you like to know more? Drop us a line and we’ll be happy to tell you more about Lasting Powers of Attorney & what they mean for you enquiries@btwc.co.uk