Rogers & Norton News
We all know that we should have a Will, and keep it updated, but how many of us have considered putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
According to recent statistics, 1 in 5 people over 85 already has dementia and the Alzheimer’s Society has stated that by 2025 more than 1,000,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with it.
As if those statistics were not scary enough, a recent study by the Royal College of Physicians revealed that 20% of patients had a “Do Not Resuscitate Order” put on their file without their consent or the consent of their loved ones. The College found that as many as 40,000 patients per year who had a Do Not Resuscitate Order on their file had no record of having ever had a conversation with a patient or a family member.
Unless you have an LPA already in place, if you lose capacity your loved ones will need to apply through the Court to help you, which can be slow and costly. By putting in place this important document you are able to give someone that you trust legal authority to look after specific aspects of your financial affairs and/or health and welfare should you lose capacity to do so.
When discussing the importance of LPAs we often hear people say they are too young to think about such documents and will put something in place later down the line when they need to. LPAs are not only for the elderly as anyone can become ill or have an accident. The documents can also be helpful in relation to managing businesses or should you spend a lot of time abroad. They give you a voice when otherwise you might not have one and can stop decisions, such as whether you are to be resuscitated, being made without the involvement of those you have appointed.
Also, and quite understandably, many family members only begin to consider the need for a legal document when they see that their loved ones are starting to struggle to manage their own affairs. However, this can be dangerously late as people need to understand the documents and their implications sufficiently to put them in place and often they are considered too late. In those circumstances the only option may be an application to Court.
The Private Client Team at Rogers & Norton recommends that everyone plans ahead to ease the potential burden on their friends and relatives. For further information about LPAs, and to discuss the special rates being offered between August and October 2016, please contact us on 01603 675645.