Don’t think you need a Will or LPA? – Think again!

 A new report from SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) and independent think tank, Centre for Future Studies, reveals the population of the UK is dangerously unprepared for the future, with 39% of people in Wiltshire having no provisions at all for later life, including a Will, pension, funeral plan or LPA.

The report looks at the ever-increasing number of people living with dementia which, combined with the failure to plan ahead for mental incapacity, exposes a looming crisis.

Not only are people ill-prepared for future possibly incapacity, but they are also ill informed. A staggering 65% of people in Wiltshire incorrectly believe that their next of kin can specify what they would have wanted if they are no longer able to and 61% believe their spouse has the power to do so. These decisions are out of a loved ones’ hands if a registered health and welfare LPA is not in place.

The research found that 70% of people in Wiltshire are worried about dementia and losing the ability to make decisions for themselves, but 83% have not spoken about, or even considered, personal medical and care end of life decisions.

Without the necessary provisions in place, potential life-changing medical and care decisions are taken away from loved ones.

The forecast shows the disparity will continue, leaving millions in limbo. By 2025, it’s calculated that 15.2 million people will be at risk of mental incapacity and it’s estimated that 2.2 million health and welfare LPAs will be in place. This shows that the health and welfare wishes of 13 million people will not be taken into account.

Only 4% of people in Wiltshire surveyed by SFE have a health and welfare LPA in place.

SFE is urging the nation to act now to avoid this incapacity crisis by planning ahead in case of mental incapacity.

It is crucial to have a conversation with loved ones in order to make specific medical and care wishes known – such as, where you are cared for, whether you wish to be an organ donor and whether or not you would want to be resuscitated – otherwise there is a risk your preferences are not taken into account.

Jeremy Hughes CBE, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society said, “We welcome this initiative. Lasting powers of attorney for health and welfare too often get overlooked. People with dementia have the right to make choices about their care, just like anyone else. Making someone they trust their attorney for health and welfare is one of the ways people can do this. A health and welfare LPA provides reassurance to them and the act of creating one can start useful conversations about the future with family and friends.”

Do you and your loved ones have your finances in order, should something happen? Here at Forrester Sylvester Mackett our friendly, knowledgeable team can assist in all matters including Wills, LPA’s, Trusts and Inheritance Tax.

Don’t put it off any longer – call our Wills and Trusts team today on 01225 755621 or pop into any of our offices.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

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