A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf should you lose the ability to do so.
While an estimated 40% of the adult UK population has a Will, less than 1% has a Lasting Power of Attorney.(1) When surveyed, 45% of people aged 45 and over knew nothing about LPA, and once fully informed, 61% of those were not interested in setting one up in the future.(2)
But with statistics estimating that one in three people over 65 will develop dementia, having an LPA in place is vital.(3) But LPA’s are not exclusively for the ageing population - every 90 seconds someone is admitted to hospital in the UK with an acquired brain injury.(4)
Not having an LPA in place means that The Court of Protection will appoint someone to make decisions if mental capacity is lost. Not only is this an expensive and lengthy process, there’s no guarantee that the court will appoint a trusted loved one.
In short, everyone should have an LPA. So why don’t they?
It is a common misconception that if you’re married or have next of kin, they will be able to make important decisions on your behalf if you become unable. But this isn’t the case. Any assets in a bank account - even if it is a joint account - will be frozen, and your loved ones will not be able to make decisions about your ongoing care or where you live without an LPA or going through a court process.
’This is a dangerous misunderstanding as it leads people to think they don’t need an LPA’ says Daniel Torres, LPA Specialist at Wright Wills, ‘People think that loved ones can deal with bank accounts, paying bills or managing property if someone loses the mental capacity to do so. But they need to be given the authority by the Court of Protection which can take months and is a complicated and costly legal process. Therefore it is really important to register an LPA before it is too late’.
We've put together a blog post which explains in more detail what an LPA is, some of the misconceptions surrounding them and how best to set one up, it can be found here:
Notes to editors
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M: 0780 3939450
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1. Office of the Public Guardian
2. Ipsos MORI
About Wright Wills
Wright Wills are specialists in Trusts, Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and other areas of Estate Planning. Established in 2018 by industry professionals who were disheartened by the way other Estate Planning services sell their services, Wright Wills is attempting to bring a fresh approach to helping people manage their estate, inheritance and ultimately their legacy. Based in South London, Wright Wills works with clients across England and Wales.
Our spokespersons are available to discuss Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Lasting Power of Attorney and Probate, please contact Alison Johnston on the details above.
"This is a dangerous misunderstanding as it leads people to think they dont need an LPA "
Daniel Torres, LPA Specialist at Wright Wills