The UK population is ageing, with around 18.2% of the UK population aged 65 years or over in mid-2017, compared with 15.9% in 2007, meaning a projected growth to 20.7% by 2027 (data from Office for National Statistics). With this increase in our ageing population, there’s a significant increase of people that will be affected by physical or cognitive conditions, that may make the individual lose the capacity to make decisions. Just taking figures from the Alzheimer’s Society, 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK, and with the rising population, this is likely to be over 1 million people in 2025.

What does an ageing population have to do with making an LPA?

As more and more people are living longer, the likelihood of someone losing physical or mental capacity is higher than ever. For example, a person’s risk of developing dementia rises from one in 14 over the age of 65, to one in six over the age of 80 (Alzheimer’s Research UK). As there’s a higher probability of developing a condition such as dementia when we get older, it’s important to plan in advance, choosing to give someone you trust the power to make decisions on your behalf. Your Attorney could be a relative, family friend, spouse, civil partner or even a professional.

The latest statistics from the Court of Protection state that under 1 million LPA’s are registered, and with 12.5 million people over the age of 65, this means that only 8% of over 65’s have a plan in place for someone to act on their behalf.

What exactly is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

A Lasting Power of Attorney, (or LPA for short) is a document that allows you to give someone you trust the legal authority to act on your behalf if you no longer have the capacity to make decisions for yourself. Your LPA will state clearly in writing how you wish your life to be managed, should you ever need them to act for you.

There are two separate types of LPA, a Financial Decisions LPA and a Health & Care LPA which gives you the flexibility to choose different people to look after each of these areas.

A Financial Decisions LPA is to safeguard any money or property. The documents may include who should handle paying bills, checking your income from pensions, and looking after your bank and savings accounts.  Your chosen attorney will be granted the necessary authority to manage all this for you, should you lose capacity.

A Health & Care LPA grants your attorney the authority to look after the medical, domestic and social issues, which could be medical treatments you receive, where you live, through to diet and daily routine. Based on this document, you can also decide in advance whether your attorney can give or refuse consent to life-sustaining treatment.

In summary, there’s no better time to make a Lasting Power of Attorney than right now. An LPA will give you the comfort of knowing that you have protected yourself from the unexpected and give peace-of-mind to loved ones, secure in the knowledge that they will make decisions that have been agreed in advance. At LPA Now, we can help by offering expertise on creating your LPA, either visiting you at home, or assisting you over the phone.