Research published by Royal London Insurance has highlighted a wide-ranging lack of knowledge and understanding of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).
The research reveals that:
- only half of adults are aware of LPAs, and of those who are, only 30% say they really fully understand what they do;
- of those who are aware of LPAs, 76% are only aware of property and financial affairs LPAs, ie they are unaware of health and welfare decisions LPAs;
- of those who have never discussed setting up a LPA, 18% of men said this was because they didn’t think they would need one, compared with just 8% of women.
In a recent article, solicitor Megan Phillips, a Swindon-based expert in Lasting Powers of Attorney and the Court of Protection matters, explained the different types of LPA and why it is so important to have one in place.
In response to this latest research, Megan said:
“Understandably, it really isn’t nice having to think about a time in the future where we might lose our mental capacity, but it really is so important to plan now in case that happens. While the number of Lasting Powers of Attorney registered increased last year, I do find it very worrying that only half of the adult population have heard of LPAs and even among those who have, so few truly understand how they work.
“Not having one in place adds considerably to the complexity and, importantly, the expense of what has to be done if you lose capacity. Look on a Lasting Power of Attorney as an insurance policy. It may not happen – we may not lose capacity – which is great, but if we do, it’s so reassuring to know it’s in place.”
Don’t lose your right to choose
Another significant consideration in making a LPA is that you can choose your attorney or attorneys, ie those people you nominate to make decisions and/or take actions on your behalf. This may sound obvious, but if you don’t have a LPA and you lose capacity, the Court of Protection will appoint somebody to make decisions for you. Of course, that person(s) may not be somebody that, given the opportunity, you would have chosen.
To discuss making a Lasting Power of Attorney, or if would like any further information on lifetime planning and Wills, please contact Megan Phillips on 01793 615011, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the Contact Form at the bottom of this page.