A recent report from the Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) warns that the UK is heading towards a crisis as millions of people have not taken steps to prepare for losing mental capacity.

Recent figures have shown a sharp increase in people being diagnosed, or at risk of being diagnosed with dementia.

Dementia has now overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in the UK, with the number of people diagnosed increasing by 53.4% in the just over 10 years.

Lakshmi Turner, Chief Executive of the SFE has said

‘more of us face conditions that limit and ultimately halt our ability to make our own decisions, which is known as a loss of mental capacity. At this point, most of us expect trusted family or friends to step in and make decisions for us – to ensure our wishes are carried out. However, this often isn’t possible unless we’ve planned ahead’

To ensure your wishes are carried out, and that important decisions are placed in the hands of those you trust, making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is vital.

There are two types of LPA, Property and Financial Affairs, in which you can appoint attorneys to look after your financial affairs, and a Health and Welfare LPA, in which you can nominate attorneys to look after your social and health care needs, and make life sustaining treatment options.

If left too late, loved ones may need to go through the Court of Protection to enable them to handle your finances, which can be a long and expensive procedure.  The Court of Protection only make orders relating to health and welfare issues in limited circumstances.

If you would like to discuss making a Lasting Power of Attorney, or have concerns about the issues raised in this article and would like to talk to someone about your options, please speak with a member of our team.

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