Stuart Maher, Director and Head of the Watson Ramsbottom Private Client Department draws attention to a report published recently by Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) which makes worrying reading as it highlights the growing gap between the number of people expected to develop dementia and the number who have created a lasting power of attorney (LPA).
An LPA can be used to give another person the ability to administer your affairs should you lose that capacity and can be set up to allow management of both financial and health and welfare issues.
In practice, when there is no LPA the results can be a mess. Dementia is a progressive disorder and it is usual for the erratic behaviour to start gradually and worsen. Much damage can occur before the family seize the nettle. With an LPA, the whole process can be dealt with in a much more orderly fashion.
According to SFE, of the 12.8 million British residents over 65, one in 14 will develop dementia. It is estimated that potentially there are 12 million people ‘at significant risk’ of dementia who have not made an LPA, and the number is likely to increase.
All adults should consider making an LPA and appointing one or more attorneys so that their care needs can be met and their affairs can be managed by a responsible person. Failing to do so can cause a great deal of stress for their family.