Dementia Week: Why a Will is just the Beginning of Later Life Planning

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There are currently around 850,000 people suffering with dementia in UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. By 2051, this number is expected to soar to 2 million.

We all know that we should write a will, but few of us know that we should also consider something called Lasting Powers of Attorney. Should a loved one become vulnerable or lose capacity due to illness or an accident, a simple Will won’t be able to help them. An LPA however, would. With only 1% of the UK’s population having an LPA in place, and one in five people over the age of 85 already suffering from dementia, these important documents deserve wider recognition.

We never know what might be around the corner, so it is important to consider who will handle your health and financial affairs should anything happen to you. A professionally-written Will is important to make sure that your final wishes are carried out should you pass away; but if you lose capacity during your lifetime without an LPA then your loved ones may face long delays and unexpected expenses when applying to the courts to act on your behalf. Registering an LPA gives the legal ability and authorisation for someone to deal with his or her loved one’s health and welfare straight away, meaning one less thing to worry about.

Dementia is one of many issues that can cause impairments in mental capacity and, once a person loses the capacity to create an LPA, they can no longer take advantage of the legal process to appoint attorneys. Drafting or signing an LPA incorrectly can also jeopardise the person’s wishes, meaning that those appointed in the LPAs may not necessarily have the legal power to act.
You do not need to wait until you are unwell to make an LPA, nor are you ever too young. As with other estate planning, it is never too soon to start thinking about these things: but it can get to the point where it is too late.

Why would a potential associate want to get involved?

Associates of APS Legal are united by their firm belief in the duty of care they owe to their clients. Whether associates are independent financial advisers offering the full spectrum of advice, or professional instruction takers specialising in Wills, LPAs, and estate planning, they work to ensure that the general public have access to a timely and accurate LPA drafting service.

To this end, all of our associates receive in-depth training and full cover under our PI insurance, relating not only to the execution of accurate LPA documents, but to a wide range of estate planning services.

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