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LPAs: Best Preparation For ‘Incapacity Crisis’

A recent study has highlighted that millions of Britons are ill prepared for their potential mental capacity loss in the future by failing to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – by setting up an LPA, you can protect yourself in later life should you become unable to make decisions.

Along with a Will, one of the best ways to protect yourself in the future is by creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – not only does an LPA ensure your wishes are carried out and decisions made in your best interests in the event that you should no longer be able to make decisions yourself due to mental incapacity, it also removes the strain from family and loved ones at an already distressing time.

However, according to a recent report, approximately 12million Britons aged 65 and over are at high risk of future mental incapacity and haven’t planned ahead with the creation of LPAs – when combined with the fact dementia diagnosis and highlighted dementia diagnosis risk have increased in recent years, the situation has been called an ‘incapacity crisis’.

How Will An LPA Help?

Research has shown that dementia is now the biggest killer, overtaking heart disease as the nation’s leading cause of death, accounting for 12% of all deaths in 2016. This means that potentially millions of us are facing a future in which we’re no longer able to make decisions for ourselves, which is why setting up an LPA is a crucial decision which should be taken as part of your planning for the future.

By creating an LPA today - whether you decide to set up a Property and Financial Affairs LPA and / or a Health and Welfare LPA - you are taking control of the future, no matter what happens to your mental health. By choosing someone or several people to be your attorney/s, who you trust completely to make the right decisions for you if you ever become mentally incapable, you retain control over what happens to you in later life.

Without an LPA, your spouse or next of kin cannot automatically make medical and care decisions on your behalf and will need to apply for a Court of Protection order, whereby decision is made on your behalf. The process is complex; it can take at least 4-6 months to complete and there is no guarantee of success in the end.

How We Can Help With LPAs

LPAs are legal documents that enable someone you trust with your personal affairs to help you in the future to act on your behalf and in your best interests, when you’re no longer able to make decisions due to mental incapacity. As with all important legal plans, LPAs can be complex and it is recommended that you seek professional advice before putting one in place.

Our experienced Wills and Probate solicitors understand the sensitive and crucial nature of LPAs and provide tailored guidance on every aspect, including how best to manage any complicated assets like overseas property and the type of LPAs most suitable for your particular situation. We are also able to act as one of your chosen attorneys, should you wish to appoint a professional attorney alongside your spouse, children, relatives or close friend.

To speak to one of our professional Wills and Probate solicitors about protecting your future through the creation of an LPA, contact us on Tel: 01244 311 633 or 0800 988 3674 or email advice@bartletts.co.uk